Update 9/17 3:45 PM – David Rinetti gave me a call today to straighten out some of the misconceptions about the metal detectors.
- There is a league-wide mandate, but it doesn’t call for a specific type of detector. The only requirement is that each park use some sort of metal detector.
- The A’s are using the last 4-game homestand as a trial run before the postseason. Ongoing training is happening prior to Thursday.
- Walkthrough detectors are being used because they’re already in place at both the stadium and arena, and because they’re faster than wands (which are more prone to human error and slowdowns).
- The policy regarding allowed and banned items has not changed.
I pointed out that the press release was perhaps worded in such a way that it could be misinterpreted that the walkthrough detector was mandatory. Hopefully this will clear up some of the confusion.
Surprise press release from the A’s today:
A’s to Use New Security Procedures for Remaining Home Games, Starting Thursday
Team Adheres to MLB League-Wide Mandate in Using Metal Detectors
Adhering to a new Major League Baseball league-wide mandate, the Oakland A’s will begin using a walk-through metal detection system for fans entering O.co Coliseum for all remaining home games beginning Thursday night when the team hosts Minnesota at 7:05 p.m. MLB teams will implement a similar league-wide system that is currently in place for all NFL and NBA teams.
The A’s recommend that ticket holders enter O.co Coliseum when stadium gates first open to allow ample time for this new security procedure. Gates will open at 5:35 p.m. Thursday, 4:30 p.m. Friday, and 11:05 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
Similar to airport security, fans will have their bags searched and will need to empty pockets of keys, cell phones and other items before walking through a metal detector. The A’s have not changed any of their current policies on carry-in items, as referenced in the “A-Z Guide” on the A’s web site, http://www.oaklandathletics.com. However, it is suggested that fans minimize the amount of items they bring to the ballpark.
This new procedure will continue through any potential 2013 post-season games, and for all future regular season games.
I’m not quite sure this is happening in the middle of the homestand as opposed to today, especially considering the fact that the metal detectors were already in place for the Raiders game yesterday. In any case, it’s a major inconvenience that, unfortunately, was completely inevitable. Many ballparks – though not the Coliseum – have already started using metal detector wands. Starting Thursday, plan to get to the Coliseum 15-30 minutes earlier than usual to accommodate the extra screening time. I’ll be back from Anaheim on Thursday, so I’ll get the metal detector the first game back.
On a related note, I recall that the two New York ballparks and Atlanta’s Turner Field used wand metal detectors at the gates. Seattle, Milwaukee, and the Chicago parks did not. I suppose it’s convenient for MLB that the infrastructure is already in place at the Coliseum, because if the league wanted to use walkthroughs instead of wands at all 30 parks, the Coliseum could serve as a trial balloon. How’s that for trailblazing?