Fair? New Barclays Center Requires Metal Detectors For Jay-Z Concert–But Not Barbra Streisand Concert

October 15, 2012  |  

While reading all the news going on around NYC, I found this story courtesy of the New York Post that I thought I’d share and get your opinion on. As you know, the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which Jay-Z was extra geeked about (and will bring folks everything from basketball to high-profile concerts, boxing, wrestling and Disney On Ice) opened in late September. Since it opened to the public, the venue has hosted eight sold-out Jay-Z concerts, a Harlem Globetrotters game, and most recently, a Barbra Streisand concert. Interestingly enough though, with the exception of the latter shindig, fans attending the Jay-Z shows and looking to see some black men twirl basketballs on their fingers were made to go through metal detectors, while fans of “Babs” as they call her, were subjected to a simple wand if necessary. As the New York Post reported, “The arena forced the crowd at the rapper’s recent concert series to herd through its new airport-style metal detectors — while fans of the legendary diva were spared the same indignity at her show on Thursday.” Those who heard about the difference in treatment expressed their feelings via social media of course, including one person who attended the Streisand concert and said, “The metal detectors are not in use for Barbara Streisand @barclayscenter. Racial profiling?” Last Sunday, a few days before the Streisand concert, those showing up for the Harlem Globetrotters were put through the same metal detectors, which caused airport-like lines. So why the sudden change in heart for Streisand fans?

“We’ve only been open two weeks and are trying to make things go as smooth as possible,” says arena spokesman Barry Baum. He claims it has nothing to do with the type of people (and what they look like) who come out for Jay-Z concerts and Harlem Globetrotters shows. The Barclays Center is the only major arena in the country employing metal detectors, so that says a lot about the type of people they think move around Brooklyn. And while the metal detectors were put away for Streisand’s other concert on the 13th and a gospel concert yesterday, they plan to bring the detectors out for future performances. As Baum says, the Barclays Center is “experimenting with a variety of security measures to enhance our customers’ experience, while also, of course, ensuring a secure and safe environment.”

Metal detectors? While I’m not for a longer line than necessary to go to a simple concert (which requires soooo much waiting anyway), I think what has to be done to ensure the safety of attendees should be done. However, if you’re going to make somebody walk through a detector to see Jay-Z perform “Jigga What, Jigga Who,” those going to see Babs sing “The Way We Were” need to waltz through that same metal detector. And don’t think her fans are too high class to throw hands and pull out a weapon at one of her concerts. Crazy people come in all shapes and sizes, ages and classes these days. Don’t sleep…

What do you think about the Center’s use of metal detectors for some events and not others?

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