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Baseball will begin screening fans entering ballparks in 2014

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The Canadian Press
11/22/2013 3:16:17 PM
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Baseball fans should expect to go through a metal detector to see their favourite team play in 2014.

Major League Baseball security director John Skinner said on Friday that all 30 teams are expected to screen all fans entering their ballparks next season. Some aspects of the screening will be left to individual teams, but the commissioner's office is planning to recommend walk-through metal detectors, he said.

"It's the reality, unfortunately, of this world," Skinner said at the Ivy Sports Symposium at the Harvard Law School. "Ultimately, it will happen."

Skinner made the comments during on a panel called "Preparing for the Worst: Crisis Management." Among the other panelists was Tom Grilk, the executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the Boston Marathon.

Three people were killed and more than 260 wounded in April when two bombs were set off at the finish line in April. Since then, most sporting events and facilities have increased security, with the NFL limiting fans attending regular-season games this year to a single, see-through bag for their belongings.

In Boston, the bombings led to an increase in security at sporting events that included checking all cars entering the garage under the TD Garden, the home of the Bruins and Celtics. Many of the more visible measures were eventually dropped and there were no further terror incidents; a large contingent of law enforcement was out on the night the Red Sox clinched the World Series, and police said they arrested nine people for unruly behaviour during the celebration.

Skinner told The Associated Press after the panel that baseball will be making a presentation to its teams at the winter meetings in December in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Asked for more details, MLB spokesman Michael Teevan said the plans are still developing.

"We have been reviewing our security procedures for many months and we will issue a security bulletin in 2014 that will include practices and procedures that are responsive to the new security environment," Teevan said in an email. "Fan screening will be one of the subjects addressed. We are continuing to consult with our clubs, our experts and the Department of Homeland Security, and we expect to announce specific changes after some further off-season meetings."

Blue Jays Fans Rogers Centre (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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