SBD/April 17, 2013/Franchises

Boston Marathon Bombings: Hall, Black Say Fans Will Be Understanding Of Upped Security

The bombings at the Boston Marathon and their aftermath were the first topics discussed during the opening panel of the ‘13 Sports Facilities & Franchises conference, which is being held at the N.Y. Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge. D’Backs President & CEO Derrick Hall, whose team is in N.Y. for a series against the Yankees, said he noticed heightened security at last night’s game, but it did not seem to create any issues for fans. Hall: "If it takes fans a few more seconds to get in, they know why. They're patient enough, and as long as they plan to get there early, they understand that it's for their best interest." He added that the attacks were another reminder that “we can never let our guard down.” Hall: “It’s important that everybody feel safe. You can never do too much.” Sabres President Ted Black said that following the marathon, he did not need to set up a meeting with team security or stadium operations staff because they rushed to him to talk about precautions and procedures. He also said he couldn't go into specifics about many of the security procedures that were being discussed or put into place. “There’s a lot going on underneath the surface,” said Black. Hall recounted a similar experience with his staff, adding, "It's remarkable how sophisticated we are now with our staff. They come to me right away" (Adam Harris, Assistant Editor).

YANKEES, CUBS INCREASE SECURITY: ESPN N.Y.’s Andrew Marchand reported there were a "few more uniformed officers outside the stadium than normal" for last night's D'Backs-Yankees game. The Yankees said that their "policy is not to comment on security measures" at the ballpark, adding that they are "working with all levels of law enforcement to ensure a safe environment" (ESPNNY.com, 4/16). Uniformed and plain-clothed officers "seemed to be everywhere on the streets" (Bergen RECORD, 4/17). There was a "rare uniform NYPD presence at the gates" at 1:30pm ET yesterday, and the number of bomb-sniffing dogs was increased inside the ballpark (N.Y. POST, 4/17). Meanwhile, ESPN CHICAGO’s Jesse Rogers reported the Cubs have "ramped up security" for this week’s series against the Rangers. A Cubs spokesperson indicated that all employees will “’operate with a heightened awareness’ while additional specific measures will be in place for the near future.” Those include garbage cans “being removed from the exterior of Wrigley Field,” not allowing large bags into Wrigley Field and having a canine unit “stationed outside of the facility” (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 4/16).

ALWAYS LOOKING TO IMPROVE: 49ers CEO Jed York said if there is “something that we can learn” from the Boston bombings, the team will “study it and we'll try to make ourselves even better.” York: “I think we've done a good job working with the local police force and we're going to continue to make sure that we have a great security team at the stadium.” York said the club years ago began to look at the design of the new stadium how fans enter and exit, as that is “one of the processes that you want to make sure … that you can utilize all the new technology that can help facilitate the police department inside the stadium, all the security staff” ("Chronicle Live," Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, 4/16).
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