Security on the minds of soccer fans at Superdome

Big changes coming to the Superdome

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Some 30,000 soccer fans poured into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Wednesday night to catch the USA women's team take on China. For local fans, it may be one of their last times inside the Dome before some big changes - both cosmetically and to security - are made.

Decked out in red, white and blue, thousands of screaming fans waited with anticipation as the stars of the U.S. women's soccer team prepared to take the field Wednesday night. A highlight for many - watching Abby Wambach play in her final game with the team.

Although a more distant thought, some also had security on their minds, hoping they'd be safe entering the Dome, given that this was an international game.

"While we were in line there were a few people who brought it up, like they thought about it, but they said well it's a USA game, let's go out and support it anyway," Sharon Williams said.

Others say acts of terrorism around the country and world shouldn't incite fear.

"No concerns at all. The New Orleans Police Department does a great job. We feel very safe," Alex Barreneche said.

Earlier Wednesday, the Superdome Commission approved a new $2 special event fee on tickets for touring acts. Much of that money will be used for additional security next year.

"The NBA mandates walk-through metal detectors. Next year we will see the same thing here at the Superdome," said SMG President Doug Thornton.

They'll replace the wands that security guards currently use. Although the new system may seem like an additional hassle, these soccer fans said if they come back to the Dome, they won't mind.

"I would rather walk in safe and leave alive than have to worry about any of that stuff," Ashley Petavosek said.

"I think that's fine. I don't have any problem with that. everybody just has to come a little bit sooner, that's all,' Craig Winchel said.

The wait will be worth it as the Dome will next year receive a bit of a face lift, thanks to a $25 million upgrade, courtesy of the Saints.

One of the big upgrades will be new video screens for fans, triple the size of what's in the Dome right now. Those should be in place just after the New Year.

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