ST. LOUIS • Baseball fans should prepare for heightened security in and around Busch Stadium when the World Series moves to St. Louis later this week.
During a security briefing in downtown St. Louis on Monday afternoon, Police Chief Sam Dotson met with state and federal law enforcement officials, and representatives of other government agencies, to draw up a World Series game plan of their own. Major League Baseball and the St. Louis Cardinals also were in attendance.
“This isn’t our first trip to the World Series. We’ve done it before,” Dotson said after emerging from the meeting. “We know how to go through this and to do it in a way to keep people safe. But fans have to realize you might have to wait in line a little bit longer while you walk through” a metal detector.
There is no known terrorist threat targeting either city in the best-of-seven World Series between the Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox, police and FBI officials said Monday. But Dotson said law enforcement agencies prepare for all hazards.
Police are mindful that Boston is just six months removed from deadly bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Dotson reminded reporters that the marathon attack involved individuals. One of the suspected bombers is dead and another is in custody. There is no indication that the bombing “has any impact on the World Series,” Dotson said.
Still, that bombing of a high-profile sporting event has prompted law enforcement agencies to “step up our game a little bit,” Dotson said.
Media reports say that Boston police, along with state and federal agencies, are expected to amplify the tough security they had in place for the American League championship series.
Bars and vendors around Fenway Park, in a neighborhood near downtown Boston, were asked to clear outside events by the end of the fifth inning. Barricades were put in place with heavy security, including police dogs.
Boston police didn’t respond to requests for comment Monday about their World Series plans.
When the Series shifts to St. Louis on Saturday, Dotson said fans going to games should give themselves more time to make it through the gates. The stadium is expected to open three hours before game time, the chief said.
Bags will be subject to search, and some fans entering Busch Stadium will be subject to random wanding with metal detectors. There also may be specific gates outfitted with walk-through metal detectors.
There will be air monitoring for “foreign substances in the air” and radiation detectors, Dotson said. There will be bomb-sniffing dogs. And officers will have video cameras — something that has become standard at large events. But Dotson wouldn’t say how many extra patrols will be deployed to the event. “We’re doing everything we can to make sure that there is no stone left unturned, and that the resources are there,” Dotson said.
Dotson said the approach to the World Series has three parts. Security is on the forefront, but the agencies also work to ensure the “fan experience ... is a great experience,” and look at the infrastructure perspective — including city streets and parks.
The Transportation Security Administration, which had officials in attendance at Monday’s meeting, will take some measures at the airports and on public transportation. The Federal Aviation Administration briefed those in attendance about so-called “no-fly zones,” Dotson said.
Nicholas J.C. Pistor of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.