In conjunction with Major League baseball requirements, the Nationals have installed metal detectors at all gates at Nationals Park for the 2015 season. The new screening program will officially begin April 4 for the exhibition game against the Yankees.
Prior to entering the ballpark, fans will have their bags checked and will then proceed through a metal detector. If metal is detected, there will be a secondary screening with a handheld wand-type metal detection device.
Following the bag check and metal detectors, fans can then scan their tickets to enter the ballpark.
“As part of this MLB initiative, (we) have increased staffing at all of our gates to expedite entry into the ballpark,” Nationals vice president of ballpark operations Frank Gambino said. “We also have added season plan holder lanes at our left field gate as well as our home plate and right field gate.”
They also have gates designated for people with medical conditions and disabilities.
“We encourage everybody to come early to the games,” Gambino said. “We understand people have busy schedules. We encourage people to get here early.”
Gates will continue to open 2 1/2 hours prior to first pitch.
Gambino said the “substantial amount” of construction costs necessary to implement these new security systems was not passed onto the fans in ticket or concessions sales.
Gambino was asked whether this would inconvenience fans and force them to get to games much earlier than in the past.
He said they had a run-through of this new security measure for the Jan. 1 National Hockey League Winter Classic, and everyone was able to get to their seats before the puck dropped.
Gambino said these new security measures will remain in place for all events held at Nationals Park. The Nationals said they recommend fans reduce the items they bring into the ballpark to lessen the time it takes to get screened.
The metal detectors are for everyone that goes through the gates, including stadium employees and media.
“It’s 100 percent screening,” Gambino said.
Here are more pictures and video of the new security measures at Nats Park: