Metal detectors coming to Target Field for opener
Walk-through metal detectors are coming to Target Field in time for the Home Opener, making the Minnesota Twins the first among the Twin Cities' major sports franchises to take such a heightened security precaution.
Walk-through metal detectors are coming to Target Field in time for the Home Opener, making the Minnesota Twins the first among the Twin Cities’ major sports franchises to take such a heightened security precaution.
The additional security measure is being mandated of all teams by Major League Baseball, with the 30 stadiums required to be in compliance by 2015, the Twins said in announcing the upgrade.
Target Field metal detectors will be phased in starting with the first home game on April 7. All five gates will have the devices by early May.
“We’ll be taking a phased approach as we want to ensure these new procedures are efficient and provide no inconvenience to our loyal fans,” said Dave Horsman, senior director of ballpark operations for the Twins.
Twins spokesman Chris Iles said fans can be assured that what they will encounter at Target Field will be nothing like what travelers experience at airports.
“This is not the TSA,” he said. “It’s a lot less invasive than that. You won’t have to take off your shoes or belts or anything.”
Iles added that anyone who declines to walk through the metal detector can opt to have a detection wand passed over them.
Fans will be required to remove cellphones and other large metal items before passing through, the team said. Fans’ bags and purses will continue to be inspected at the gates.
Eventually, entrances for employees, the news media and others will also have the same level of security, Iles added.
Matt Hoy, senior vice president of operations for the Twins, said in a statement that this level of security is “the most minimally invasive, fastest and most effective way to keep dangerous items out of the ballpark.”
Iles said there have been no significant security incidents at Target Field since it opened in 2010.
Boston, the New York Mets, Oakland, Pittsburgh and San Francisco were among the teams that experimented with screening at times last year.
There currently are no metal detectors at the home venues for the Minnesota Vikings, Wild or Timberwolves or for University of Minnesota athletic events.
Vikings fans are screened with hand-held metal detectors, and there are restrictions that took effect starting with the 2013 preseason on the size and type of bags that can be brought into games.
Team spokesman Jeff Anderson said that the Vikings’ move to its new stadium in 2016 does offer the franchise an opening for a security review.
“We would certainly look at metal detectors and what is the best policy going into the new building,” Anderson said.