Sunday, October 14, 2012

Post: arena to use wands, not metal detectors, "for the foreseeable future"; who was responsible for change in policy?

In Barclays Center announces they’ll use wands instead of metal detectors from now on, Rich Calder of the New York Post reports:
The Barclays Center today announced its dropping its policy of using airport-style metal detectors at all events “for the foreseeable future” — shortly after The Post reported that the new Brooklyn arena used them for Jay-Z concerts while the less intrusive metal wands were utilized for a Barbra Streisand show.
Note that the metal detectors were also used for the Harlem Globetrotters.

Could it be that "the foreseeable future" ends at the next event expected to attracted a largely young and minority crowd, such as a reggae festival?

New rationale

The Post reports that arena officials say there was no racial double standard:
“We utilized the first two weeks since the arena opened as an opportunity to test different security methods,” said David Anderson, Barclays Center General Manager.

“After witnessing long lines during events in which we used walk-through magnetometers, we began to utilize hand-held magnetometers at the Barbra Streisand concert Thursday evening.

“We found that this strategy allowed for quicker access into the arena, while maintaining safety and security,” Anderson said.
In other words, their entire security plan was unfounded.

Whose call?

Calder tweeted that Barclays Center officials claimed it was their call to use the wands, not Streisand or the New York Police Department.

However, multiple arena staffers told me and others that they were told it was Streisand's call.

Both scenarios are possible, however. Let's say arena officials decided that it would take too long, and deliver too little marginal benefit, to put Streisand fans through metal detectors. They then suggested that to Streisand, and she said Sure.

However, perhaps arena officials recognized that the change could look like a double standard to their Barclays Center staff, many of whom are young and black. So perhaps they chose to blame it on Streisand.

Tish approves

The Post, which got a quote for its initial article from arena opponent Council Member Letitia James, got back to her and found approval:
“It should be one arena, one standard — safety. I congratulate Barclays Center for realizing we are all one.”

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