New security screenings added for high school basketball state tourneys

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It’s not uncommon for men in West Virginia to have a pocket knife anywhere they go, but if they’re headed to the West Virginia girls or boys state basketball tournament in Charleston this year, they’ll need to leave it in their vehicle or their hotel room.

The Civic Center is launching a new security plan this year which will require all fans entering the facility to go through a metal detector and any prohibited item, which includes pocket knives, will be confiscated and not returned.

“The circumstance we find ourselves in because of school shootings and the great number of threats in the state of West Virginia following the Florida incident, ” said Charleston CivicĀ  Center General Manager John Robertson. “We thought this was a prudent thing to do.”

The list of prohibited items at the state tournament includes: guns or weapons of any kind, knives–including pocket knives, knitting needles, selfie sticks, chains, outside food or beverage, large purses, back packs, camera bags, or totes, and any other item prohibited by the WVSSAC.

“They may bring small purses, cell phones, diaper bags, and non-professional cameras,” said Robertson.

Robertson said all entrants into the Civic Center for this week’s girls basketball tournament and next week’s boys tournament, will be required to go through the screening and suggested in addition to knowing what to leave at home, get to the lobby early to allow time for the process.

The Civic Center has a large number of the magnetometers to check each person entering. The screenings are common before Civic Center concerts.

Those coming into Charleston need to also realize there is a new entrance amid widespread construction happening at the Civic Center.

“During the construction, 100 percent of the audience needs to come into the new Clendenin Street lobby,” Robertson explained. “It’s just across the street from the Charleston Town Center.”

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