April 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Metal detectors in the lower entrance to Oracle Arena before the game between the San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

What MLB Security Changes Will Mean For Bay Area Fans

Anyone planning on attending a Major League Baseball game in 2014 can expect to go through a metal detector on the way into the stadium.

Major League Baseball announced Friday that all 30 teams are expected to screen all fans entering ballparks next season, according to the Associated Press.

Some aspects of screening will vary from team to team, according to MLB security director John Skinner, but the commissioner’s office is expected to recommend walk-through metal detectors.

At AT&T Park in San Francisco, security was beefed up last spring in the aftermath of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, with bags searched and fans frisked by metal-detecting wands.

O.co Coliseum in Oakland began using walk-through detectors in September, according to the team’s official website.

What does it mean? Fans should allow for extra time when they go to games next season, because it takes awhile to run tens of thousands of people through metal-detection stations. Think of the airport, only more compressed and with more people.

Gates generally open several hours before the scheduled first pitch and the smart fan will be the one who arrives earlier rather than later, at least if they’re concerned about not missing any of the action on the field.

It’s an unfortunate byproduct of the times in which we live. There seems to be a never-ending supply of nut jobs bent on causing mayhem and destruction at public events. Increased security is no doubt an annoyance, an inconvenience for the vast majority of fans who just want to catch their favorite team play a game and have a good time.

But if increased security prevents a tragic event such as what happened in Boston last spring … or worse … some inconvenience is the inevitable trade-off.

Tags: MLB Oakland Athletics San Francisco Giants

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