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MLB security upgrades not due until 2015

St. Louis CardinalsThere’s been some inaccurate information floating around out there about MLB’s plan to enhance security at ballparks, and the first thing to remember is simple: any changes will be mandatory in 2015.

That means teams have a season to plan and implement changes. Some, like the Seattle Mariners, will screen fans as they enter the ballpark beginning this season. Fans at Safeco Field will pass through walk-through magnetometers while their tickets are being scanned. Devices are being installed at all public entrances. Those who do not wish to pass through a metal detector will have the option of being checked with a hand-held device.

“Fan safety and security is our top priority. 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,” said Sylvester Servance, Mariners Director of Security.

But not every team will be screening fans this season; the St. Louis Cardinals have decided to take their time in mapping a security plan for Busch Stadium and will not do anything different for 2014, past the usual checking of bags at the front entrance. From the News-Democrat:

The new security measures are required to be in place in 2015, and the Cardinals are still in the early planning stages. The details of what changes will be made are unclear, although team spokeswoman Melody Yount said they will be made with fans first in mind.

“I know we aren’t implementing security wands until next year, which is the requirement,” Yount said. “There is quite a bit of cost involved and a lot of things need to be worked out. So the big changes won’t come until 2015.”

Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that it would require all of its teams to implement sweeping security improvements in time for the 2015 season. The changes include all parks being required to scan all fans with either a walk-through metal detector or a hand-held wand.

As anyone who has flown in recent years knows, there’s no way to effectively check fans without lines forming: you’re imposing extra time a fan needs to wait in line. So some planning — and some investing in expensive machinery — is probably a good thing.


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