On the Beat

PNC Arena adds bomb-sniffing dogs ahead of Wednesday’s concert

Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart members of the band The Chainsmokers performing in March in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Their show Wednesday at PNC Arena will have extra security.
Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart members of the band The Chainsmokers performing in March in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Their show Wednesday at PNC Arena will have extra security. Getty Images

If you’re going to Wednesday night’s Chainsmokers concert at Raleigh’s PNC Arena, you’ll notice a lot of four-legged attendees: security dogs, sniffing for explosive devices.

It’s in response to Monday’s terrorist bombing in England, which killed 22 people and injured scores more at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

The move has actually been in the works for a while, but PNC management sped up the timetable in response to Monday night’s events. For Wednesday night’s show with Chainsmokers, the area will have a capacity of around 12,000 people.

“Timing is everything,” said Don Waddell, president of PNC Arena. “We had just had a meeting about hiring dogs on Monday morning, and who we’ll go with is not yet all worked out. But it would be foolish of us to overlook any event. So we reached out to one of our potential bidders to do Wednesday night’s event.”

Dogs and their handlers will be patrolling the arena’s concourses, and also exits around the building. That’s in addition to the building’s usual entourage of police officers, security personnel, security cameras monitoring activity and airport-style metal detectors.

Venue security has become an issue in recent years as musical events have emerged as potential terrorist targets around the world, from Paris to Orlando, Fla. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for Monday night’s attack in Manchester.

“We live in a world that keeps us on our toes,” said Waddell. “We started ramping up security years ago, with walk-through metal detectors after (the September 2001 terror attacks). That is ongoing and will continue.”

David Menconi: 919-829-4759, @NCDavidMenconi

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