Athletic department to introduce new McGuirk Arena bag check protocol at Friday's basketball game

Central Michigan has initiated a new bag check protocol for events at McGuirk Arena starting Friday when the men's basketball team hosts Marygrove at 7 p.m.

Patrons with bags will be moved into a separate line upon entry where the contents will be searched before entrance into the arena is allowed. Bags of any size are still permitted and the new policy does not aim to make bags illegal.

“The safety of our fans is of the utmost importance to us,” said CMU Director of Athletics Dave Heeke in a press release. “After an internal review, we felt that a bag check was important to put in place. This revised safety protocol falls right in line with most entertainment venues in this country and will help to insure that our patrons have a safe and enjoyable experience at our events in McGuirk Arena.”

Craig Willey, senior associate athletic director and director of external operations at CMU, said the decision was part of an ongoing evaluation of security at events held at Central Michigan and was not due to any recent incidents.

"This change is put in place as part of a continuous evaluation of procedures at venues in conjunction with campus police," Willey said. "We meet year round with campus partners and police, and this is something we have talked about multiple times."

This policy is similar to other search protocols in place in other major athletic events but is a marked change for events in McGuirk Arena. At Kelly Shorts Stadium, all bags are subject to search and bags larger than 5.5-by-8.5-by-2-inches are prohibited along with coolers and containers.

Willey said it is possible that bag checks will be implemented at events outside of McGurik Arena at venues such as the Jack Skroog Indoor Track or Indoor Athletic Center. While this is currently not the case, Willey said the Athletic Department wants to make sure their policies stay consistent and it is possible that a bag check policy will be enacted in the future.

To accommodate this change, additional staffing will be added among the athletic events staff and Central Michigan's security contractor, as needed.


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