Q: Why are the Mariners making this change?
A: Major League Baseball works closely with Homeland Security and is keenly tuned into the current security environment at public events. MLB is mandating this change to increase and standardize security practices across the game. Fan safety is a top priority for the Seattle Mariners and we believe this change poses minimal inconvenience for fans and provides the assurance of an additional level of security screening.
Q: What can fans expect at the gates of Safeco Field?
A: Fans will simply walk through a metal detector as their tickets are being scanned. If the device detects something, that fan 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: We're making every effort to make sure that this security enhancement doesn't slow down the process of getting into the game. Fans are used to bag searches before entering the ballpark, so there is already precedent for security checks at the gates. Since turn-styles are being removed from gates to accommodate the walk-through metal detectors, it may even make it quicker and easier to physically pass through the gates. We are also starting our installation and staff training early so we will be ready for the season.
Q: What if I don't want to pass through the metal detector?
A: Fans who don't wish to pass through the metal detector will have the option of entering through a separate gate where they will be checked with a hand-held device. But we think most fans will see that the walk-through metal detector is the quickest, easiest, least obtrusive and most secure method.
Q: Are the Mariners restricting bag size, like the NFL?
A: No, we are not changing our bag policy. The Mariners 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.
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.
Q: I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. How will this affect my rights?
A: This change doesn't affect the Seattle Mariners longstanding weapons-free policy at Safeco Field. This is out of concern for the safety and comfort of our fans, as well as to comply with MLB's weapon-free workplace policy. That policy directs all teams to prohibit possession or use of deadly weapons in facilities owned or operated by teams, except for qualified law enforcement personnel, including off-duty officers, engaged in official duties. Fans are asked to leave their weapon in a secure location before entering Safeco Field.