By 2015, all 30 teams in Major League Baseball are required to have metal detectors installed as an extra security measure as fans enter the ballpark. Many teams have been slowly implementing metal detectors this season, including the Minnesota Twins, who hosted the All-Star game, and the Seattle Mariners, who had them ready for their team's fanfest in January. And now the New York Yankees will join that group after announcing that metal detectors will be in place and operating at select Yankee Stadium entrances starting on Tuesday.
“Nothing is more important to us at Yankee Stadium than the safety of the fans we serve,” Yankees Chief operating officer Lonn Trost said in a statement. “To that end, we are committed to the procedures that Major League Baseball and the Department of Homeland Security have asked us to implement. We want our fans to feel safe in Yankee Stadium, and our staff is dedicated to maintaining the highest security standards possible.”
Increased security is something the league is taking very seriously, and though MLB has never encountered a serious threat that would have been prevented by a metal detector, it's not difficult to argue with their logic. If the technology and equipment are available to ensure better safety for fans, why not use it?
On the other side of the coin, there are concerns that adding these security measures will create longer lines entering the ballpark and a headache for fans in terms of planning their travel. The Yankees acknowledged as much in their statement on Friday.
"Due to the enhanced security measures," the team said in a statement, "the Yankees strongly urge all fans to begin budgeting extra time for entry into the ballpark when planning their trip to the Stadium."
In New York, where the traffic is predictably unpredictable, that could create quite a hassle for fans and even significant others of the players, as we learned from Amanda McCarthy's early experiences. With that in mind, we're guessing these first few weeks with the detectors in place will be interesting. And by interesting we mean extremely chaotic and likely very irritating.
Still, it's wise for the Yankees to slowly begin that process right now. It should help everyone — staff and fans included — become more comfortable with the system entering 2015, and give them an idea of just how many hours (or days) they'll need to leave home or work early to comfortably be in their seat before first pitch.
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