Cleveland, OH -The Cleveland Indians on Thursday announced new enhanced security measures as part of an MLB initiative to standardize security practices across the league.
The club will gradually install unobtrusive, walk-through metal detectors, through which fans will enter the gates. Fans will see the first installment of metal detectors in place at Gate D, behind home plate, this homestand. Each fan must be screened, though those who choose not to use the walk-through detectors can opt to be screened by hand-held wands instead.
Later this summer, metal detectors will be installed at gates A and C to comply with MLB's mandate of having enhanced fan screening in place by Opening Day 2015. MLB has been working with the Department of Homeland Security and the individual clubs on the initiative; similar security measures are also in use at other major entertainment venues in Northeast Ohio, including Quicken Loans Arena and FirstEnergy Stadium.
"This will be a minimal, unobtrusive change for our fans, whose safety is our No. 1 priority at the ballpark," said Jim Folk, the Indians Vice President of Ballpark Operations. "Fan convenience is very important to us, and we're making every effort to ensure these important safety measures, as mandated by Major League Baseball, will have a minimal impact on fans' speedy entry into the ballpark."
Upon entering the ballpark, fans will need to remove cell phones and all large metal objects from their pockets before walking through the metal detector; they can be retrieved immediately after entering. All other items can remain in fans' pockets. All bags still will be checked, and only MLB-compliant bags - 16x16x8 - will be admitted. A full list of items permitted and prohibited in the ballpark can be found under the "Progressive Field" tab at Indians.com.
As always, fans are encouraged to arrive early to games, especially as the weather warms and crowds grow for the summer months. Gate opening times generally follow these guidelines:
- 7:05PM Monday-Thursday: Gate C -- 4:30PM; all gates - 6PM
- 7:05PM Friday-Saturday: Gate C - 4:30PM; all gates - 5:30PM
- 6:05PM: All Gates - 4:30PM
- 4:05PM: All Gates - 2:30PM
- 3:05PM: All Gates - 1:30PM
- 1:05PM: Gate C - 11AM; All Gates - 11:30AM
Exceptions are May 31, June 3, July 8 and July 12. Full Gate Time listing is available at http://tinyurl.com/m8b6owr.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why are you implementing these new procedures?
Major League Baseball, after working with the Department of Homeland Security, is working to enhance and standardize security procedures at ballparks throughout the sport. The league is requiring teams to have enhanced fan screening in place by Opening Day 2015.
What should fans expect when they get to the gates?
Starting on May 16 at Gate D, and later this summer at gates A and C, fans must walk through metal detectors prior to entering the ballpark. Bags, as they have been for many years at Progressive Field, still will be checked.
Do fans have to go through the walk-through metal detectors?
Those who choose not to go through the walk-through metal detector have the option of being manually checked with a hand-held detector.
Will it take longer for fans to enter the ballpark at the gates due to these procedures?
The Indians are taking every necessary step to ensure that fans encounter minimal interruptions and delays in their entrance into the ballpark.
This is why we're phasing these new measures in over the course of the season, in an attempt to get fans and our gameday staff used to the new process.
Are the Indians instituting a new bag policy akin to the NFL?
Our bag policy will not change: Those bags compliant with MLB standards - 16x16x8 or smaller - are permitted, and are subject to search.