MINNEAPOLIS -- With the Twins set to host the All-Star Game on July 15, the club will implement increased security measures at Target Field this season.
The Twins are installing metal detectors at each of the five gates at Target Field, and team president Dave St. Peter is hopeful they'll all be up and running by June 1. Major League Baseball is mandating the club to have them ready by the All-Star Game, and every club must follow suit by Opening Day in 2015.
"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 and a smart way, and frankly in a commonsensical way."
St. Peter added that fans will have their bags and backpacks searched before entering the park, and fans and employees will have to walk through metal detectors before entering the stadium. But the Twins don't have any plans to restrict what was previously allowed in the park such as water and food.
St. Peter said the club is working to find ways to keep lines short, and the security measures will be phased in starting on Opening Day.
The Twins have already purchased most of the equipment necessary for the increased security measures, and St. Peter said the costs are deep into seven figures.
"At the end of the day, it's all about fan safety," St. Peter said. "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."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger.