PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Just days after a terror attack at an arena in Manchester, England, more than 18,000 fans are filling PPG Paints Arena Thursday night for Game 7 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals.
Many thousands more are watching the game outside the arena. So, the challenge for local officials is how to keep them all safe.
At PPG Paints Arena, they’ve got a handle on how to keep the inside of the arena relatively safe. Everyone passes through a metal detector and bags are searched.
But how do you stop an attack outside where thousands of fans party?
“The idea that you can stop an attacker, especially someone who decided their own life means nothing, the ability to prevent it is almost impossible,” says Larry Likar, a security expert.
That’s what we witnessed this week in Manchester in an attack “outside” an arena that left 22 dead.
Even so, police are taking extra precautions. Bomb-sniffing dogs searched the perimeter of the building late Thursday afternoon. Police are also bringing in additional, hidden security for the game.
“Plainclothes. There’ll be observers from high vantage points watching the crowd,” said Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich.
But remember, these are just precautions. There are no indications that PPG Paints Arena is a target for terrorists. In fact, Likar says terrorist attacks rarely happen.
“The idea that you’re going to be the victim of a terrorist attack in any of these thousands and thousands of venues that we have, it’s relatively rare,” he says.
But following this week’s Manchester attack, everyone can feel a little bit more secure with extra security on hand.