The new normal of tightened security at public entertainment venues penetrated the home of fun in St. Paul this weekend when Saints baseball fans were given an extra once-over before being allowed inside.
The added security measures began Friday at CHS Field and will remain in place "through the remainder of the season and beyond," said a statement from the minor league team's front office. The shift comes after the deadly terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, early last week.
The gates entering the Lowertown ballpark were staffed with yellow-shirted security personnel who scanned patrons with metal-detecting wands and exercised the option of checking bags for any banned items.
Also, team officials reminded the public that the 7,200-seat ballpark is a "no weapons" facility, and that includes "all versions of knives," the front office statement continued. Fans were also asked to take everything out of their pockets.
The gates were busy in the moments leading up to the first pitch on Saturday, but little delay was detected in getting fans through the extra layer of inspection.
"Fun is Good! Safe fun is even better!" the front office announcement began. "Since opening in 1993, attending a Saints game has been about … the experience of attending a ballgame surrounded by family and friends while enjoying a few laughs, great baseball, tasty treats and affordable fun."
And here's where reality poked its head in: "While the world changes around us, the Saints recognize our responsibility to ensure that your experience here at CHS Field continues to be as relaxing, enjoyable and as safe as possible. This in mind, we are introducing new security measures at home games."