Bears fans patient with beefed up security

December 4, 2011 3:13:52 PM PST
Before Chicago Bears fans saw their team Sunday, they saw stiffer security measures.

Outside of Soldier Field before a game against the Kansas City Chiefs, fans had to deal with longer lines as security staff checked bags, purses and swept bodies with hand-held metal detectors.

The NFL is requiring teams to step up the security screening of fans.

Fans were patient as they endured delays getting into the stadium.

"We feel very safe because of the check we just had," Bears fan Tami Sconza said.

For the first time, fans at selected gates were scanned by metal detecting security wands, a procedure that may eventually phase out patdowns, which were recently expanded earlier this season.

Fan Tricia O'Halloran didn't mind the more-involved measures.

"I've been tailgating and been coming since 1987," she said. "I've never not felt safe coming. It did not bother me that they did that today."

Said another fan, Joe Martin, "It actually wasn't too bad. I got here early to go through. They gave you the little wand thing."

People were encouraged to get an early start as security personnel admitted the wandscould make an already time consuming process even longer.

The Bears say using the wands is not in response to any problem, but because the NFL considers it a better security practice.

"It's taking about 15 seconds longer per person on average," said Soldier Field general manager Tim LeFevour. "It is a slower process. You've got that change in the pocket or a belt buckle. It's a slower procedure."

Load Comments