MINNEAPOLIS — If you plan on attending a Twins game at Target Field in the future, you might want to arrive at the gates a few minutes earlier than normal.
The Twins will be installing metal detectors at each of the park’s five gates for the 2014 season, team president Dave St. Peter said on Sunday. Minnesota must have the detectors installed in time for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game festivities in mid-July, but the team hopes to have everything in place by June 1.
"It’s a huge operational sea change," St. Peter said. "We have the advantage of being able to get it in early and get it phased (in) and learn a lot and educate not only our fans and our staff but educate the people who are executing it, just to make sure that we’re doing it in a safe way, in a smart way, and frankly in a commonsensical way, as I like to say."
Major League Baseball is mandating that all 30 teams in the league install metal detectors at every entrance by Opening Day in 2015. In hosting this year’s All-Star Game, the Twins will likely be one of the first to operate under this extra layer of security.
Target Field has five gates through which fans enter for games, plus several other additional entry points around the park for team employees, media and gameday staff. The plan, St. Peter said, is to phase in the metal detectors at one gate before expanding to the other four.
Some of the equipment — which has already been purchased — will be installed by Opening Day 2014 on April 7. St. Peter said the cost of the metal detectors and all the costs involving the process is "deep into seven figures" but he feels it’s worth it in the name of safety.
"I accept it because of the world we live in today," St. Peter said. "At the end of the day, it’s all about fan safety. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. I think that’s a good thing. The key for us is to make sure it doesn’t impede anybody’s experience in coming to a game. That’s something we’re going to take very, very seriously."