SBJ/October 31-November 6, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFL teams to begin using handheld metal detectors

NFL teams will start using handheld metal detectors in November to upgrade the screening process at all 31 stadiums, according to an email issued by Jeffrey Miller, the NFL’s chief security officer.

In the Oct. 14 email obtained by SportsBusiness Journal, Miller informed stadium managers that the league plans to buy 3,100 handheld scanners from Garrett Inc. and distribute 100 to each NFL facility.

There is no cost to the teams. In addition, Garrett will provide DVD instructional videos to train security personnel how to use the devices, and the league will conduct a video conference with Garrett officials demonstrating their use. The NFL’s intent is for teams to phase in the scanners in an effort to identify the best way to deploy them at their stadiums.

The units will “close the security gap” in the overall screening process to ensure a safe game day experience for all fans, Miller reported.

From a fan perspective, the handhelds are “much less invasive” than the pat-downs and “that’s great news,” said Mike Fox, director of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The Colts bought several scanners on their own to supplement the 100 the NFL will supply at no charge.

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