Downtown venue is going smoke-free


Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids is one of the 100 busiest arenas in the world. Photo by Johnny Quirin

A major venue in downtown Grand Rapids will soon be completely smoke-free.

Starting in September, the SMG-managed Van Andel Arena will no longer have a designated smoking area outside.

The policy will apply to all events that are held at the venue.

Patrons will no longer be allowed to re-enter the facility if they leave for any reason, including to smoke.

The new policy is the result of the arena’s ongoing security-enhancement efforts, as it works with local authorities and the Department of Homeland Security.

“First and foremost, we work to provide a secure and comfortable environment for all of our guests and employees,” said Richard MacKeigan, regional general manager, SMG.

“It has been a growing trend in the industry, and we feel strongly about this opportunity for security enhancement. We understand this may be an inconvenience for some. However, we are confident everyone can agree that safety is paramount.”

The arena had previously banned smoking of any kind, including e-cigarettes, inside of the arena.

It joins a growing list of sports and entertainment venues in Michigan and across the country that have removed designated smoking areas: Little Caesars Arena; Michigan Stadium and Crisler Center on the U-M campus; Spartan Stadium and Breslin Center on the MSU campus; and many others.

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