Shocker basketball begins with changes

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

The Wichita State Shockers tipped off Friday night at Koch Arena for the first time in a new conference. With that excitement came security changes and longer lines.

While spectators were smiling and cheering inside, some outside were waiting nervously before the game began.

"They need to have more metal detectors. Wait until the freezing snow and then we'll see how happy people are," said Peter Coakley. He said he wasn't upset by the added metal detectors. Just the number of them.

New security measures are in place this year, including bag restrictions and metal detector screenings.

"Primarily because of the law change, we didn't feel like allowing conceal carry into our building was the right thing," said Brad Pittman, WSU Associate Athletic Director. 

Overall he said the changes were seamless, though right before the game began lines were deep into the parking lot of the west entrance.

But most were okay once they got inside.

"No, I didn't have any problem, I don't mind that at all," said WSU fan Janelle Halstead. "I've missed it, I've been looking forward to it, so we're going to cheer them all the way."

Besides the metal detectors, bags larger than 14 inches are no longer allowed inside Shocker games. Backpacks are banned, too, though medical and diaper bags will be allowed.

"Our bag policy is exactly like InTrust," Pittman said. "What we're trying to create is simplicity within the city so if you go to an event there. You go to an event here, you basically get the experience and can expect the same thing."

Pittman urges fans to arrive earlier in order to make it inside in time for basketball games.

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