The Mariners announced some security changes for fans entering Safeco Field for games this season.
All fans entering Safeco Field through any gate will be screened with metal detectors. This is a move in compliance with a mandate from Major League Baseball that all teams implement a screening program by the start of the 2015 season. MLB has been working with the Department of Homeland Security in its safety guidelines.
“Fan safety and security is our top priority,” said Sylvester Servance, Mariners Director of Security in a press release. “The Mariners and Major League Baseball are keenly aware of the current security environment at public events. We believe this step is necessary, poses minimal inconvenience, and ultimately will serve the best interests of all fans.
How will it work?
Fans entering will be sent through walk-through magnetometers while their tickets are being scanned at all public entrances. Any fan who wishes to not pass through a metal detector will have the option of being checked with a hand-held device.
The Mariners have installed devices at the left field gate of Safeco and they will be operational for FanFest this weekend. It will be used as an example for what to expect this season.
“We think it’s important to get started now with staff training and to familiarize the public with what they can expect this season. We don’t think there will be any major problems moving fans through the gates,” Servance said.
The Mariners will continue to allow bags, backpacks and purses as long as they are not larger than 16” x 16” x 8”. But those bags, including women’s purses, will continue to be subject to inspection at ballpark gates.
The Sounders and Seahawks have already put similar measures in place. NFL security measures actually might be more stringent.