Yankees introduce metal detectors at a gate

Yankees president Randy Levine enters Yankee Stadium through
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Yankees president Randy Levine enters Yankee Stadium through a metal detector at Gate 2 before a game against the Houston Astros on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014.(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

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Upon entering Yankee Stadium Tuesday, West Babylon resident Tom DeFonte looked at his young son and said, "Never again are we going through that gate."

DeFonte was referring to Gate 2, which is adjacent to leftfield, an entry point where two metal detectors were added for the first time. Many fans who showed up when the gate opened at 5:10 p.m. had to wait on a long line for what they said was 20 to 30 minutes longer than usual.

DeFonte and others need to get used to it.

Starting in 2015, all game-day entrances to Yankee Stadium (and every other MLB park) will use metal detectors, as mandated by MLB. The Yankees announced Friday that as part of MLB's initiative to standardize security procedures at all 30 major-league parks for the start of the 2015 season, metal detectors will be added at various entry points at Yankee Stadium starting Tuesday.

Gate 2 was the only gate at the Stadium that had the detectors and it was chosen, security guards said, because it "is a good trial run because it's one of the less trafficked gates."

At around 5:30 p.m., about 150 people waited on a slow-moving line. In comparison, the Stadium's other gates were nearly vacant at the same time.

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"I come through this gate all the time and it's never like this at this time," DeFonte said. "At the same time, I don't want to get shot in the face, either."

Some said that there should be more than two metal detectors at each point.

"We need like seven or eight to make things more smooth," Phillip Rogers of East Meadow said.

After that initial rush, however, less people entered through the gate and by 6 p.m. many were touting the metal detectors as an efficient and safe process.

The Yankees are introducing metal detection before the 2015 mandate in an effort to acclimate staff and fans to the new procedure, according to a news release.

Fans were asked to remove cellphones and all large metal objects from their pockets before walking through the metal detectors. All bags will still be checked, and only MLB-compliant bags -- a maximum of 16 inches x 16 inches x 8 inches -- will be admitted.

Those who choose not to go through a walk-through metal detector have the option of being manually checked with a hand-held detector, the news release said.

"It's just the world we live in these days," Rogers said. "It's good the Yankees are doing this now. As far as safety goes, it's a must at this point."

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