Cleveland, OH -The Cleveland Indians, starting with Monday's home game against the Los Angeles Angels, will expand previously installed security measures to Gate C, near the Bob Feller statue and East Ninth Street.
Unobtrusive, walk-through metal detectors were introduced at Gate D, behind home plate and along Carnegie Avenue, in May. The enhanced security measures are part of an MLB initiative to standardize security practices across the league.
Few if any problems were reported during the limited rollout of metal detectors at Gate D. But as Gate C is used much more widely by fans than Gate D, the Indians are urging all fans to leave a few extra minutes for entry into the ballpark. That especially is true for next weekend's series vs. Detroit, when large crowds are expected throughout the weekend, including Saturday night when Omar Vizquel will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame.
"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/7:15PM 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 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?
At Gates C and D, fans must walk through metal detectors prior to entering the ballpark. Detectors will be expanded to Gate A later this summer. 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.