More security for Mavs-Lakers after bin Laden death

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on May 4, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 4 at 7:31 PM

DALLAS — Mavs fans going to Friday night's playoff game against the Los Angeles Lakers should expect increased security.

Everyone walking through the doors will be screened, but fans don’t seem to mind. "I think it's good for everyone," said Jason Padgett. "Safety first always."

Until now, fans entering American Airlines Center were randomly selected to be screened with hand-held metal detectors. But following the death of Osama bin Laden, the league issued a  notice that everyone must be screened for all NBA Finals games.

"I think the government and the NBA are just looking out for the fans," said Annalise Saenz. "We're OK with it."

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, sports venues increased security. But over the years, metal detectors were removed from many arenas, including the AAC.

Many felt getting people through the doors quicker was better than holding them up at security checkpoints. But now they aren't taking any chances.

"I think it's worth the wait, or get there earlier and expect long lines, cause you don't want to have threats at the game," Padgett said.

News 8 has learned there was a security meeting about this issue Wednesday afternoon, which included the Dallas Police Department.

Not only will everyone who attends Friday's game be screened, but extra security personnel will be brought in to help, and more police officers will be added outside and inside the arena.

Undercover officers will also be in the crowd looking for signs of trouble.

"I'm OK with it, especially since we normally come to the game with our kids, so anything to protect them," Saenz said. "We're OK with it."

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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