The Winnipeg Jets returned to action Sunday night with their first preseason game.
Despite the disappointing result on the roster, an overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators, Jets fans had something to celebrate: a return to a full Canada Life Center.
However, increased security and COVID-19 regulations made many fans wait a bit to enter the arena’s gates, and it’s something that the arena’s owner, True North Sports and Entertainment, is looking to remedy. in the future.
“The mood going in was so good, I think most of the people gave us a mulligan last night,” True North’s Kevin Donnelly told 680 CJOB.
“They were so excited to be in the building. We have changes in store for upcoming games, but the lines were long last night, and we’re going to make some changes to accommodate that. “
Donnelly said the increased wait time was partly due to a new bag policy: Customers can no longer bring bags, backpacks, or purses, unless they meet the new 12-inch by 6-inch by 3-inch requirements, essentially a small purse or clutch.
“It is a combination of COVID, we do not seek to touch and get into people’s personal belongings, but it is also driven by security and the NHL is really very rigid in their security policy,” he said.
“We are following the pattern throughout the NHL – that’s the same size and limitation that all NHL buildings follow.
“We are trying to be consistent so that the audience understands what they can and cannot bring to an event.”
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Donnelly said similar changes can also be made to the True North-owned Burton Cummings Theater, though that has yet to be formalized.
Exceptions to the bag rule include medical equipment, diaper bags, etc., and those bags will need to undergo an X-ray examination.
To make sure people can get through the gates and be seated in time for the puck to drop, Donnelly said the arena will now open its doors 90 minutes early.
“I think people were serious about the idea of a second security check, so we will open 90 minutes early for the rest of the preseason and probably in the regular season,” he said.
“We don’t like to see people waiting in line.”
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