SIOUX CITY | In the aftermath of a horrific terrorist bombing attack Monday that killed at least 22 people in a concert in England, Sioux City officials continue to proceed with plans this year to add metal detectors for concerts and other events that routinely draw several thousand people.
The concerts are an important social outlet for fun, and people shouldn't have to worry about being safe in the live music venues of the Tyson Events Center and Opheum Theatre, said Irving Jensen Jr., of Sioux City, who serves on the city's Events Facilities Advisory Board, or EFAB.
Jensen said Tuesday he has no concerns about possible attacks when he's at local concerts, while adding, "I doubt that the people in Manchester, England, had it in their mind either."
Security concerns get brought up in nearly every EFAB meeting, he added.
In response to concert promoters requiring increased security for big-name acts, the city agreed to add portable walk-through metal detectors at the Tyson and Orpheum, said Erika Newton, director of the city’s Events & Facilities Department.
The city's fiscal year 2017-18 budget includes $100,000 for walk-through metal detectors at the Tyson as part of the venue's maintenance improvements. That should be at least 12 detectors in the two venues by the fall months, Newton said.
"We have to have enough so we have coverage of all points of entry and backstage," she said.
Event staff currently use wands to check for security. The addition of metal detectors at each entrance may slow the rate of entry into the venues.
Newton said the detectors likely would be used for concerts and other major shows but would be optional for some other events.
"We want to make sure that the artists and the 5,000 fans who are coming are protected...People expect that the place they are going is safe. That's what we have to ensure," Newton said.
Newton said while no shows have declined to perform at the Tyson because of the lack of walk-through metal detectors yet, some have said they would not return unless security was increased.
"The metal detectors are a big issue in terms of booking shows," she said.
Grande performed in Omaha in February, where several thousand people were wanded before they could enter the CenturyLink Center.
Police in Manchester said Tuesday they had arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the apparent suicide bombing at the end of the show. The house lights went on, and one attendee called the rush of concertgoers after the explosion "a stampede."
Grande, who had just left the stage, was unhurt, taking to Twitter to say: "From the bottom of my heart, I am so, so sorry. I don't have words."
Top U.S. intelligence officials have not yet verified the Islamic State terrorist group is responsible for the attack in Manchester, England, but called the deadly incident a stark reminder of how serious the terror threat remains.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this article.