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Subtle changes at Camden Yards

Even though bombs had disrupted the Boston Marathon just two days earlier, security in and around Camden Yards didn't seem more pervasive before and during a Wednesday night game between the Rays and Orioles.

But it was.

The scene in Baltimore was markedly different than the weeks following the Sept. 11 attacks, when sporting events were marked by long lines and visibly heavy security. This week, the beefed-up security around Camden Yards was much more understated.

The stadium moved all external trash cans inside the park. More official personnel — both uniformed police and ballpark ushers — were seen walking around outside a stadium. Camden Yards ushers walked around the plaza outside the Eutaw Street entrance, keeping an eye out for discarded bags.Lines to get into the stadium weren’t long, which isn’t a surprise for a mid-April crowd of 13,591. Gate security took longer than usual to check bags. For the first time, they tagged checked bags with plastic ties.

Just 20 minutes before the start of the game, a crowd of about 400 people milled around Pickles Pub across the street from Camden Yards.

As in the past, a black-clad security detail was in front of the bar, checking IDs. This week, though, they also were checking the bags of some of the bargoers.

"Our security numbers haven't increase, but our intensity at the gate has really been heightened," said Tom Leonard, general manager of Pickles Pub.

Asked about increased security in the area this week, Leonard said, he’s noticed some of the subtle changes, but suggested that most fans would not notice a difference.

“I thought Camden Yards has handled it really well,” he said.
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