Tips for Clearing Pepsi Center Security


So, have you ever watched the ushers at Pepsi Center, standing there getting paid to watch Colorado Avalanche games, and thought, “I could do that”?

I did. So, I got a job with the staffing company who runs Pepsi Center security. Turns out those usher jobs are coveted, held by longtime employees who might very well bequeath them to their grandchildren one day. In short, I got stuck working the doors, making sure patrons don’t bring in contraband.

So, while I’m not getting to watch Avs games for free, I have gained some insight into how to clear security with ease. Pepsi Center security isn’t as sticky as at Mile Hi — no clear baggies yet — but it still trips up quite a few hockey fans. With some big divisional games coming up for the Avalanche, let’s get the Avs Nation in as quickly as possible to cheer for the boys.

#1: Take the metal out of your pockets.

When you arrive at either entrance in the Pepsi Center, you have to walk through a metal detector. If you set it off, you get wanded. Getting wanded is no big deal, but it’s a delay. So, as you’re nearing the metal detectors, fish out those metal items, and be prepared to set them in the tray. (Which is better than Mile Hi, where you’re stuck juggling your belongings while getting wanded.)

#2: Your cell phone has metal in it.

Most of the people who set off the metal detector do so because they left their cell phone in their pockets. I don’t know if it’s the casing or the electronics, but it’s got metal in it. If you’re a woman, pop it in your purse. Guys, just place it on the tray — we won’t let anyone touch it.

#3: Smoking type items have metal in them.

Whether it’s one of those e-cigarettes or a lighter, it’s got enough metal to set off the detector. The cigarette packs sometimes have enough metal to set the detector off. As for your chew cans — they’re made of metal! Fish them out, please.

#4: You can’t bring bottle caps inside.

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It seems silly, but bottles have to be uncapped and empty. When asked, we were told it’s because fans have weaponized the bottle caps. Yes, I’m talking about plastic bottle caps. All I can imagine is that some drunken idiot whipped it at a fan who got hurt — and now you have to pay for that fact. You can bring the bottle in and fill it at a drinking fountain to save the $4 charged for a fresh bottle — just no caps.

#5: You don’t have to raise your hands as you go through the metal detector.

You also don’t have to slither or execute a graceful dance move. It’s amusing as heck if you do, but just walking normally works, too.

#6:Don’t bring big camera lenses.

We’re told to hold up our ID badges to a lens (it’s the size of a credit card). If a lens is bigger than our ID card, you either have to return it to the car, or check it. If the lens is removable, it absolutely cannot come in.

#7: No mace, please.

No pepper spray either, ladies. I know you put it on your keychain, and you forget about it. It’ll have to go in the trash, though, and that stuff’s expensive. Just leave it in the car.

#8: Leave your work knife in the car.

You’re not even allowed to bring in a bottle cap — it should be obvious we won’t allow an actual weapon. I’m very sorry if that knife has been in your family for three generations. You’ll either have to take it back to the car or give it over to security for disposal. Just check your pockets before you leave for the game.

#9: Bring your ice skates right on in.

As Zach Redmond can well attest, skate blades can do a lot of damage to human flesh. If it’s a family skate after an Avs game, feel free to bring those skates right on in anyway. You don’t even have to check them. So, no bottle caps, no knives, no mace, but skate blades are just fine. Go figure.

#10: Chicago Blackhawks fans are exempt from the above rules.

If you are a Chicago Blackhawks fan coming to the Avalanche game, please do bring bottle caps, mace and knives. Leave it all in your pockets with copious amounts of chew and other smoking paraphernalia. And arrive at security heavily intoxicated. The fact that you’re wearing a ‘Hawks jersey means we’ll wave you right on in. Oh, and Avs-‘Hawks games have been moved to the 1st Bank Center up in Broomfield.

By the way, if you’re that Blackhawks fan who shows up in an Indian headdress, I will wand you myself. It will not be pleasant.

Enjoy the game, Avs Nation!