Philadelphia Union, along with all clubs in Major League Soccer, introduced new elevated security standards to ensure a safe environment for soccer fans, as announced by MLS today. Beginning this Saturday, April 23 at Talen Energy Stadium, a new minimum standard Bag Policy and guest screening measures will be instituted to correspond with security measures taken by the other professional sports leagues in North America.
In an effort to minimize longer wait times, the Talen Energy gate will open 90 minutes prior to kickoff on Saturday and will remain so until further notice. Under the new security policy, all guests at Talen Energy Stadium will be fully screened upon entry. The screenings will be conducted via the use of a search wand.
“We’ve always placed fan safety as the No. 1 priority at our facility,” said Mike Scanlon, Talen Energy Stadium’s General Manager. “We support Major League Soccer’s decision and will have the necessary screening procedures in place for Saturday, and beyond, to ensure full compliance. We want to encourage all of our guests to arrive earlier than they normally would.”
These security standards will apply to all MLS, SUM, and USL games played at MLS venues, including but not limited to MLS League and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup games, friendly matches, and fan events.
“Public safety is a top priority and the enhanced security measures will ensure that fans are able to continue to enjoy MLS and SUM events in a safe environment,” said MLS president and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott.
“The safety of our fans, players and staff is paramount,” said Ray Whitworth, Senior VP of Security and Operations. “The updated security measures bring us in line with professional sports leagues around the United States and Canada while maintaining the unique sports experience that is MLS.”
Under the new league-wide Bag Policy, fans are prohibited from bringing the following into a stadium**:
- Large purses
- Luggage of any kind
- Computer bags
- Camera bags
- Any bag larger than 14’’x 14’’x 6’’
In addition, all bags will be subject to search upon entry. The bag restriction will not apply to credentialed media, who will continue to enter MLS stadiums through designated entrances and adhere to all posted media bag policies and screenings. However, as has always been the case at Talen Energy Stadium, all media bags will continue to be searched upon entry.
**Special considerations will be made for guests with special medical needs and parents caring for infants.
The increased security policy was unanimously supported by the MLS Board of Governors and involved input from all 20 MLS clubs.