Pat-downs could mean long lines at Falcons opener

Updated:

ATLANTA,None - Fans headed to the Georgia Dome for the first Falcon's game of the season may be greeted by tougher security and a logjam at the door as each person is inspected.

The National Football League ordered all stadiums to increase security, including full body pat-downs, to start the season. The Falcons first game is against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.

Some fans are more fired up about the new security than they are about the return of former Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.

"It's a lot of bull," five-year season ticket holder Michelle Turner told Channel 2's Diana Davis.

"I understand at the airport, but a football game? I just don't understand. Why can't we just walk through a security booth instead of being patted down? I feel violated," Turner said.

Other NFL franchises have warned fans to expect pat-downs from the ankles up, similar to security checks at an airport.

Georgia Dome officials won't be specific about what enhanced security measures really mean but spokesman Jason Kirksey told Davis, "Safety is our No. 1 concern for anyone coming to the dome, and we're going to do everything asked by us we feel is necessary to keep everybody safe."

Last Sunday, at a New York Jets game, a fan was arrested for sneaking in a stun gun. He is accused of using it on three fans. However the NFL insists it wanted improved security before the arrest.

"We got a request from the NFL earlier this week to enhance security. It is not in any way related to any other incident," Kirksey said.

Fans who refuse the pat-downs will not be allowed in the stadium. Dome officials said gates will open 30 minutes early, starting at 6 p.m. Sunday, to allow for the extra security checks.


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