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New at Roger Dean, spring training sites this year: metal detectors


All Grapefruit and Cactus league teams must have detectors

First spring training game in Jupiter is Feb. 25

All spring training fans will be greeted by metal detectors at Roger Dean Stadium when spring training games start Saturday, Feb. 25.

“We want to make sure no guns or knives or long poles get through. This is a directive from Major League Baseball to all spring training facilities in the Cactus and Grapefruit leagues. We want a safer environment,” said Mike Bauer, general manager of the 7,000-seat stadium in Abacoa.

Fans should get to the games about 15 minutes before their regular arrival times to make sure they get inside on time, said Bauer.

Bags held by fans were searched in previous years at entry gates at the stadium that is the spring training home of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals.

All fans this year will be asked to remove cellphones and other items from their pockets and place them in a container on a conveyor belt that will pass through the metal detector.

There will also be personnel on duty that will use a metal-detecting wand on fans who set off an alarm when they walk through, said Bauer.

It’s the same system used at the Palm Beach County Courthouse and other professional sports facilities, said Bauer.

Stadium officials paid about $50,000 for the 10 machines, said Bauer.

“Most people are used to the drill. Fans should come a little bit early to get through the lines,” said Bauer.

The directive from Major League Baseball was a result of the June 2016 shootings in Orlando and other incidents. The new Ballpark of the Palm Beaches will use hand-held devices on selected guests.

The detectors are not a response to weapons being brought into Roger Dean Stadium, Bauer said.

“We haven’t had any issues here at Roger Dean Stadium. But we are in a different world today,” he added.

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