Fans encouraged to arrive early for Honda Home Opener as new MLB security procedures in place for 2015

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS will open the home portion of their 39th season with a sold out Rogers Centre for HONDA Home Opener on Monday, April 13th against the Tampa Bay Rays at 7:07pm.   Gates will open at 5:00pm and Blue Jays fans are strongly encouraged to arrive early as new MLB security procedures will be in place at all 30 MLB stadiums.

Major League Baseball has implemented a heightened security policy in 2015. The new regulations require each club to use metal detectors or walk-through magnetometers at all entrances. Fan safety and security is our priority, thus all fans should allow additional entry time prior to the HONDA Home Opener. As in previous years, the Toronto Blue Jays, Rogers Centre and Aramark Sports and Entertainment are committed to promoting and ensuring responsible alcoholic beverage sales and consumption at all games. To reference Rogers Centre Ground Rules please visit;

http://bluejays.com/groundrules

http://bluejays.com/security

All guests must go through new MLB security measures. Here are some tips to help you get through as quickly as possible:

  • Give yourself plenty of time to go through security especially during peak periods (20 minutes prior to first pitch, promotional days and midweek afternoon games) and have your tickets ready to be presented to staff positioned at the entrance to the screening area.
  • Families or guests with special needs who need a little more time can take advantage of the dedicated Special Needs Entrance at Gate 7.
  • Cell phones, keys or any metal objects must be removed from your person and placed in bowls before passing through our detectors
  • If you have any electronics such as tablets, cameras (both stills and video) take it out of any bags and present them to the security officer for manual inspections
  • Avoid wearing clothes with metal snaps and buttons, belts with large metal buckles, steel-toed shoes or shoes with metal arches or shanks.

Become familiar with the prohibited items list available at www.bluejays.com

SECURITY SCREENING FAQs?

Q: When are you going to start using metal detectors?

A: The metal detectors will be in use for our home opener. The Blue Jays introduced the new security screening process in September 2014. All Major League teams are required to be in full compliance by Opening Day 2015

Q: Why are the Blue Jays making this change?

A: Major League Baseball works closely with Canadian and American authorities, as well as other leagues. MLB is mandating this change to increase and standardize its security practices across the game. Fan safety is a priority for the Blue Jays and MLB - we believe this change poses a minimal inconvenience for fans and provides an additional level of security screening.

Q: What can fans expect at the gates of Rogers Centre?

A: Security and event staff will be positioned throughout the perimeter of the stadium at all entrances as in previous years. Fans with bags will be directed to designated "Bag Only" lanes. Note that bags may not exceed 16x16x8 inches as per MLB regulations. Security personnel will search these bags, just as they have since 2001. All other fans will be directed to our Express (No Bags) lanes. Security staff will be positioned at all inspection lanes and will ask fans to remove their cell phones, keys and any other heavy metal items from their pockets and place them in bowls at the inspection table. Fans will then pass through the walk-through metal detector. If the device detects something, that fan will be checked with a hand-held wand but only in the area where the alert was detected. Only after the screening process is completed will you be permitted into the stadium to have your ticket scanned.

Q: Do I have to take off my shoes, belts or jacket?

A: While the process may look similar to traditional airport screening - you do not need to remove your jacket, belt or shoes. Watches, wallets and coins can also remain untouched.

Q: Does this mean it's going to take a long time to get through the gates before each game?

A: We are making every effort to ensure that this security enhancement doesn't slow down the process of getting into the stadium. However, as in any new procedure there is a learning curve for both staff and fans. We encourage fans to arrive a few minutes earlier, especially on promotional days and midweek afternoon games. We appreciate your patience.

Q: Are the Blue Jays restricting bags,

A: No, we are not changing our bag policy. The Blue Jays 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 inspected. Please consider not bringing a bag to the stadium - this will help reduce your wait time at our gates.

Q: Are metal detectors safe?

A: Metal detectors operate at a very low frequency of electromagnetic pulses. There is no exposure to radiation. The electromagnetic levels are lower than you are exposed to on a routine basis from using a cell phone or an automatic garage door opener. Metal detectors are safe for all individuals, including pregnant women, children and people with pacemakers. If you are concerned about using the walk-through or hand-held detectors, you can request a pat-down search. For more information on our metal detectors please refer to www.ceia-usa.com

Q: Will it hurt my pacemaker?

A: All security metal detectors are manufactured in compliance with international technical as well as medical standards. The risk of disrupting a pacemaker is negligible. However, if you are concerned, there is the option of a pat-down search by a member of our security staff

Q: I have a medical implant that sets off metal detectors. What is going to happen to me at the gate?

A:  Please advise our security staff of your need. Our detectors are set at a MLB approved level and in some cases certain conditions can be accounted for and eliminated as alarm triggers. But when the alarm arises, fans can be subjected to additional screening with a hand-held wand or gentle pat-down, but only in the area where the alert was detected.

Q: What if I don't want to pass through the metal detector?

A: If the fan has a medical condition and does not want to go through the walk-through metal detector, they will be directed to a security officer at that gate who will provide you with a light pat-down search.

Q: Do children have to go through the metal detectors?

A: All people who enter Rogers Centre will have to go through the enhanced security screening process as required by MLB. Parents may carry infants and toddlers through the walk-through metal detectors. Children in strollers who are old enough and able to walk may be asked to walk through on their own. If the detector alarms', children will be subject to either a hand-held wand inspection or a light pat-down.

Q: Can I still bring a stroller through the metal detector? What about a wheelchair?

A: People with strollers and those who use wheelchairs can use gate 7,3,13, 11 or 5 to enter. We will have designated entry lanes at these gates for fans with special needs. In these cases, inspections will be conducted with a hand-held metal detector or with a gentle pat-down.

Q: Can I bring in my pocketknife?

A: We do not allow any knives into the Rogers Centre for security reasons.