DETROIT - The Detroit Tigers today announced an enhancement in ballpark security for the 2014 season with the installation of walk through metal detectors at all Comerica Park entry gates and access points. All fans will be screened as they enter Comerica Park, starting with this year's season opener March 31 against the Kansas City Royals. In addition, all streets around Comerica Park will be restricted from any vehicle traffic. Additional information is posted and updated on tigers.com regarding street closures and ballpark security guidelines.
"This initiative is another step in our enhanced guest security and safety measures," said Mike Healy, Vice President of Ballpark Operations. "Safety is paramount and we want to strike a balance between safety and customer convenience. Most importantly, we are being proactive to ensure we create as safe, comfortable and enjoyable environment as we can. Statistically, walk through metal detectors allow for guests to enter more quickly and effectively into the ballpark than hand wands."
Major League Baseball guidelines mandate a screening program be implemented at all MLB ballparks by 2015. The Tigers are one of several MLB teams in a position to proactively implement this enhanced security measure for the start of the 2014 season.
The Tigers recommend ticket holders arrive early to allow ample time for this new security procedure.
Gates will open at 5:00 p.m. for 7:08 p.m. games, 11:00 a.m. for 1:08 p.m. starts and 2:00 p.m. for 4:08 p.m. games. The two hours before game time will afford patrons more time to enter the ballpark and also the opportunity to watch part of Tigers batting practice.
All streets around Comerica Park will be restricted from any vehicle traffic. Since 2004 when planning for the 2005 Major League Baseball All Star Game began, the Detroit Tigers working with the Detroit Police Department, Federal Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Michigan State Police, and other stakeholders developed a Buffer Zone Protection Plan for Comerica Park. This plan included closure of streets around Comerica Park which has been adjusted annually. In 2014, this hardened perimeter will include street closures two hours before gates open.
Here's what you need to know for 2014:
- Guests are encouraged to arrive early to avoid a longer wait to enter the ballpark.
- As in past years, all guests will be subject to bag searches and all bags will be checked.
- Only bags that comply with MLB standards of 16x16x8 will be admitted.
- Guests will need to empty their pockets of keys, mobile phones, and other items before walking through the metal detector. Guests can opt of the walk thru metal detector screening but they will be subject to hand held metal detector screening or alternative screening procedures.
- It is suggested guests minimize the amount of items they bring to the ballpark.
- There will be no access to the ballpark from the Beer Hall or the Labatt Blue Light Jungle outside doors.
PERMITTED/NON PERMITTED ITEMS
Guests will be asked to return all restricted items back to their vehicle. Guests who are caught in the park with a restricted item(s) will have the object confiscated and may be subject to ejection.
Permitted Items after inspection:
- ALL BAGS/PURSES ARE SUBJECT TO INSPECTION
- baseball mitts/gloves
- bags smaller than 16" x 16" x 8" (including soft sided coolers, backpacks and diaper bags, bags cannot have a rigid interior or exterior frame)
- cameras still and video ( tri-, uni-, or mono- pods are prohibited)
- drink boxes, if you have children in your party or for medical needs
- factory sealed clear bottles of unflavored water
- Individual portion sized food or snacks (outside food is not allowed into the suites)
- plastic baby bottles if you have a child in your party
- seat cushions
- small radios
- strollers (umbrella-type that folds up and will fit underneath the seat, large strollers may be checked at Guest Services)
- umbrellas (large golf umbrellas and umbrellas with metal tips are strongly discouraged)
Non Permitted Items:
- Aerosol cans (hairspray, mace, pepper spray, etc.)
- animals (except certified service animals or service animals in training)
- bags larger than 16" x 16" x 8"
- baseball bats of any size
- beach balls or other inflatable items
- beverages (except juice boxes with children in your party, or for medical needs)
- bottles (glass or plastic with the exception of factory sealed clear bottles of unflavored water)
- fireworks, firearms, knives or weapons of any kind
- fishing nets or poles
- framed back
- hard sided coolers
- illegal drugs or substances of any kind
- laser devices/pointers
- liquid containers (glass or plastic with the exception of factory sealed clear bottles of unflavored water)
- markers, paint
- masks (face cannot be covered up)
- noisemaking devices: air horns, bullhorns, thunder sticks, cowbells, bells, horns, kazoos, whistles, and other noisemakers
- non-baseball related signs
- objects that can be used as missiles or projectiles: sticks, bats, clubs, Frisbees, beach balls
- obscene or indecent clothing
- skateboards or rollerblades
- squirt guns including super soakers
- sticks, including signs attached to sticks
- stools, folding chairs, stools or back supports
Guests are encouraged to take non permitted items back to their car. Items left at the gate are not the responsibility of The Detroit Tigers.
METAL DETECTORS FAQ
Q: Why are the Tigers making this change?
A: Major League Baseball works closely with Homeland Security and is briefed regularly regarding the current security environment. MLB is mandating this change to increase and standardize security practices across the game. Fan safety is a top priority for the Detroit Tigers and we believe this change poses minimal inconvenience for fans and provides the assurance of an additional level of security screening.
Q: What can guests expect at the gates at Comerica Park?
A: Fans will simply walk through a metal detector prior to approaching the gates and having their tickets scanned. If the device detects something, the guest will be checked with a hand-held wand, and there will be further security follow-up, if needed. Bags will still be checked, just as they have been for the last several years.
Q: Does this mean it's going to take long to get through the gates before each game?
A: The Tigers are making every effort to make sure that this security enhancement doesn't slow down the process of getting into the game. Guests are used to bag searches before entering the ballpark, so there is already precedent for security checks at the gates.
Q: Are the Tigers restricting bag size, like the NFL?
A: No, we are not changing our bag policy. The Tigers will continue to allow bags, backpacks and purses, as long as the bags are not larger than 16" x 16" x 8". All bags, including women's purses, will continue to be subject to inspection and checked upon entry.
Q: I have a medical device that sets off metal detectors. What is going to happen to me at the gate?
A: Today's security technology has evolved to the point where certain personal effects and conditions can be accounted for and eliminated as alarm triggers. But when the need arises, fans can be subject to security follow-up including screening with a hand-held wand or other alternative screening procedures.
Q: Can I still bring a stroller through the metal detector? What about a wheelchair?
A: People with strollers and those who use wheelchairs have usually entered through a barrier-free gate. That option will still be available, but those entering the ballpark through those designated gates will still be checked with a hand-held metal detector. The security enhancements are mandated by MLB, all fans will have to participate to get into the ballpark. We think the process will be quick and easy and most fans will recognize that the procedure is needed to help improve fan safety and security.