The Xcel Energy Center has announced it will soon adopt the Minnesota Wild’s security restrictions on bags brought into the downtown venue for concerts and other events, and patrons seeking a smoke break will now have to fend off the urge or cut short their visit altogether.
The center’s management said Monday the new limits on the size and composition of bags take effect Oct. 15 and follow what the NHL team put in place in September 2018.
Here are what fans will be allowed to bring in:
• Clear tote (plastic, vinyl or PVC) that does not exceed 12 by 6 by 12 inches or a plastic storage bag that is maximum 1 gallon, resealable and clear.
• Small bags, such as a small clutch purse, that are roughly the size of a hand with or without a handle or strap. Maximum size: 5 by 8 inches.
A drop-off service will be available for anyone who shows up with a bag that fails to meet the entry requirements, said Xcel Energy Center spokeswoman Jora Bart.
In the past, anyone inside the smoke-free Xcel Energy Center during an event could leave for a cigarette or a drag on a vaping device and re-enter the venue. No more.
Effective immediately, no re-entries will be allowed for any reason.
Bart said barring re-entry “helps us streamline our security process by not having to recheck people that have already been checked to enter the facility.”
Xcel Energy Center Vice President and General Manager Jack Larson said in a statement, “We believe that these policy changes will help us promote an even safer and more enjoyable environment at our events.”
There is still one more change coming to Xcel Energy Center. Starting with Thursday’s Blink-182 concert, cashless payment systems will be the rule at some concession and nonfood locations.
About 25% of these locales will accept only credit and gift cards, as well as mobile payments such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
The motives to go cashless are “aimed at creating faster-moving lines and increased fan satisfaction,” the arena announcement said.
“It’s a fluid plan at this point,” Bart said. “We want to evaluate how things go with the 25% that we unveil, evaluate the transition, tweak things if needed and continue to roll them out knowing that it will go smoothly.”
The cashless locations “will have signage letting folks know they only accept electronic payments” to prevent any purchase surprises once a patron is ready to pay, she said.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482