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As playoffs begin, new rules for fans at Sandman Centre

The city is reminding fans that, as of March 31, there is no re-entry permitted, no outside food and drink allowed and two pieces of identification required for alcohol purchases
Sandman Centre
Sandman Centre is downtown, next to Riverside Park.

As the Kamloops Blazers begin their playoff run on Friday, March 31, the City of Kamloops is reminding fans about new rules at Sandman Centre.

As of March 31, policy changes for all events at the city-owned arena downtown include:

• No re-entry permitted during the event;

• Two pieces of identification are required for alcohol purchases (one must be photo identification);

• No outside food or drink allowed (security will be performing bag checks).

In February, Sean Smith, the city’s business operations and events supervisor, told a Kamloops council committee that enacting the policy is not a city-led directive, but a mutual one the city and the Blazers have been working toward for the building, which is one of the few hockey rinks in the WHL that still allows people to go in and out between periods.

In defending the new rules, which have been criticized by some on social media, the city said new policies will provide added safety and security measures for spectators, will help in reducing ticket fraud and will support staff in managing alcohol consumption, which will protect the facility’s liquor licence.

Earlier this year, Kamloops Coun. Stephen Karpuk raised concern about over-indulgence of alcohol at Blazers’ games by some spectators.

“We know that these changes will be impactful to some residents, but overall, we hope that the community will be respectful of these changes and of staff,” Smith said in a release.