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Metal detectors coming to EverBank Field this year

Change has been in works for year, will help speed up wait times, Jags say

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars have announced that EverBank Field will be equipped with more than 100 metal detectors in the fall.

According to Jaguars officials, the plan for the safety upgrade has been in the works for more than a year and is not related to the recent mass shooting in Orlando.

Jaguars officials said fans will be seeing a major difference during the preseason. The devices will be placed at every gate before the season starts.

The NFL has stated that metal detectors are the best practice for stepping up security at stadiums and is mandating that all stadiums have them by 2017.

For the past few years, Jaguars fans and anyone who has come to EverBank Field for an event has only been searched with a wand-type metal detector. That practice began in 2011. Two years later, the rules were updated to prohibit anything but clear bags entering the stadium.

Jaguars spokesman Dan Edwards said the team tested metal detectors at one of the games last season and things went really well.

He said the team is making the move to heighten security and reduce wait times for entering the stadium. He said the team found that the walk-through metal detectors move the lines through faster than the metal-detecting wands.

Fans will see the metal detectors for the first time at the Jaguars' first preseason home game.

Irfin Ghani, who's been to Jaguars games with his sons, said the wands were OK, but anything could have slipped by.

"I think it's good. They should have all kinds of security. There's a lot of people there," Ghani said. 

But not all fans are convinced the change is necessary, like Tiara Denson who teaches on the city's Westside.

"A lot of students on the Westside never get a chance to come downtown due to transportation, lack of resources. And I think (if) the Jacksonville Jaguars push that money that they would be using into security into the community of Jacksonville, they could get some students to come out here to the games," Denson said.