DFW Concert Venues Take Precautions After UK Attack

UPDATED | May 23, 2017 10:45 AM

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – At least one North Texas concert venue has made security changes following the attack at the Ariana Grande concert in the United Kingdom on Monday night. The death toll from that blast has jumped past 20 people and dozens more are among the injured.

The explosion in Manchester sent ripples around the world, and authorities in Grand Prairie on Monday opted to increase the police presence at Verizon Theatre, as John Legend was in town for a show. Lt. Anthony Hogan said, despite zero intelligence of a similar attack, officials felt compelled to beef up security as a precaution.

“I think it’s kind of a sad commentary on the world we live in these days,” said Kaylee Criswell. “It’s hard to go somewhere you think is going to be fun.”

The American Airlines Center in Dallas is doing what they can to ease fan fears as well, before the New Kids on the Block come into town for a 7:30 p.m. performance on Tuesday night. Singer Donnie Wahlberg was reflective about the group’s upcoming Dallas show and posted what he thought was the definition of music on Facebook.

When news of the terror attack came out, Tracy Acuna was preparing to take a red-eye flight from Oregon to Dallas to see the New Kids on the Block in concert. “I was horrified simply because I was literally packing to go to the airport,” she explained. It did not stop her for boarding that flight. “I’ll be shocked if I don’t see more security but, you know, the best kind of security is the kind that you don’t see.”

The AAC posted their emergency plan online, saying that personnel have been trained to assist in an emergency situation, and both visual and audible alarms are located inside of the building.

However, there has been no specific word about changes to security at the American Airlines Center. The venue’s management issued a statement on Tuesday that said, “We are currently reviewing security plans for the concert tonight and will make any adjustments that are deemed necessary after that review. Per our policy, we do not publicly discuss specific details of our security protocols.”

Experts have stated that it is always important to have a plan in place for a large event. Terrorism specialist and former officer Clint McNear said that venues continue to be “soft targets” for attacks. Attendees should be aware and know the exits, and not solely rely on others for security.

“At what point is enough enough? We can’t ultimately not travel,” McNear said. “We can’t [not] fly or quit going to concerts or the Rangers game.”

“It was hard to think about, but I’m not going to stop living my life,” Acuna added.

Fellow concert attendee Kate Korpi echoed Acuna’s sentiment. “I’ll think about it,” she said, “but not dwelling on it.”

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