Without reservations, we support the installation of security equipment at the entrances to the Tyson Events Center and Orpheum Theatre.
In an unfortunate, but all-too-real sign of the times in which we live, metal detectors and wands were put into use for all events at both venues last month.
"Providing a safe environment is the most important service we can offer," Erika Newton, Tyson and Orpheum general manager, said in a Journal story. "There may be some additional time at the doors, but we want to make sure that people who come to our facilities feel comfortable and know that security is being taken seriously."
Strengthening the case for this decision is the fact some acts won't book venues in which security protections don't exist.
We appreciate the fact transition to this new system of security creates the need for adjustments by ticketholders and presents a learning curve for venue staff. However, we are confident patrons will become accustomed to the security and venues will work out wrinkles quickly. Soon, no one will remember the pre-security days.
To assist in making this conversion easier for everyone, we offer a few suggestions for consideration by the Tyson and Orpheum:
- Provide information, including tips, for patrons about security at the time of ticket purchase so no one is surprised upon arrival.
- Open doors and begin security earlier so no one misses the beginning of a performance.
- Don't force ticketholders to stand outside in the cold or rain waiting to pass through security. Allow them inside the front doors in a designated pre-security checkpoint area.
- Allow access to refreshments during the wait for security. Food and drink carts when the weather allows? Why not?
Finally, patrons should arrive earlier for events to allow time for security and should exercise patience.
After all, this is about keeping everybody safe.