Mississippi State adding metal detectors at Davis Wade Stadium

Published 5:57 pm Thursday, August 16, 2018

STARKVILLE — Mississippi State football fans will have to go through an extra layer of security this season.

The school is adding walk-through metal detectors at all gates of Davis Wade Stadium, the university announced Thursday. The metal detectors will be in place for the season opener Sept. 1 against Stephen F. Austin.

Mississippi State president Mark E. Keenum said in a release that all 14 Southeastern Conference schools will be required to have metal detectors installed at their football stadiums by 2020, and his university and the University of Alabama will be the first to do so.

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Metal detectors have been in place at Mississippi State’s Humphrey Coliseum the last two basketball seasons. They are also mandatory at all NFL and Major League Baseball stadiums, and present at many college stadiums around the country.

“Here at MSU, we have made systematic strides in recent years to maximize security while also maximizing the very best possible fan experience for our Bulldog family and our guests. I encourage our loyal fans to embrace this necessary initiative,” Keenum said.

When fans arrive at the gates of Davis Wade Stadium, they will be asked to follow the instructions of the security screening staff and place large metal objects such as phones, keys, cameras, approved seat cushions and cowbells in containers or in their clear bag on screening tables before passing through the metal detectors.

Fans will not be required to remove belts, watches, wallets, jewelry, shoes, jackets, coins or other small objects.

Anyone in possession of a prohibited item will be asked to return it to their vehicle before having their ticket scanned for entry to the stadium.

Fans are encouraged to arrive at Davis Wade Stadium gates approximately 30 minutes earlier than normal to help speed up the process. Gates to the stadium open 2 hours and 15 minutes before the scheduled kickoff time.

The addition of metal detectors is the latest in a series of increased security measures by the SEC in recent years. A clear bag policy was implemented in 2017, and will continue to be in effect.

To help familiarize fans with the new policies and process, Mississippi State will have walk-through metal detectors set up at the Palmeiro Center for its annual Fan Day on Aug. 25. The display is intended to simulate an entrance to the stadium on game day.

“We encourage our fans to become familiar with the process before they arrive on campus on Sept. 1,” Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen said.