MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Fans should expect security changes at the Metrodome, such as searches of purses and heavy coats, as the Twins resume their season after the terrorist attacks, an official said.
Besides the possible searches at the gates, backpacks and duffel bags won't be allowed into the stadium, Matt Hoy, vice president of operations for the Twins, said Sunday.
"The reality of the situation is we have a new paradigm here, and we've got to make sure we're proactive and thinking ahead," Hoy said.
Vikings and Gophers officials have not released details of their security plans. Metal detectors will not be used at the gates for any of the teams, officials said.
Of the three teams, the Twins resume their season first, at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers. "It's not about being paranoid, but being prudent about how we go about our business," Hoy said.
The Gophers and Vikings aren't scheduled to play another home game until the weekend of Sept. 29-30.
By then, the Twins will have played six games at the Metrodome, and hundreds of football games will have been played at other stadiums, giving officials a better indication of what might be needed for security.
Dan Teschke, who coordinates security for Gophers home games, said that while he expects heightened security, fans aren't likely to face anything beyond normal entry procedures at the gates.
Breck Spinner, the Vikings' director of operations, said he was scheduled to meet Tuesday with representatives from NFL security, the Minneapolis Police Department, the Sports Facilities Commission and the FBI.
Hoy said the major upgrade in security has been increased instruction and awareness of his staff, a bolstering of security personnel and a joint effort with the Facilities Commission, which is charged with policing the Metrodome grounds, including parking lots.
Major League Baseball issued directives that included the backpack and cooler bans, as well as improved measures for controlling activity inside the stadiums and in the parking areas.
Outside the Metrodome, suspicious vehicles, or vehicles parked in suspicious places, will be towed. Any packages, boxes or bags left unattended will be viewed as suspicious, just like at the airport. And the Metrodome grounds, inside and outside, will undergo repeated security sweeps.
Unlike the Vikings and Gophers, who use off-duty city police and an outside security firm for their ushers and guards, the Twins' security staff is in-house -- and, Hoy said, prepared for the worst despite his anticipation of business as usual.
Fans will see tighter security at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, as well, when the Wild open their home exhibition schedule Sunday against Calgary. It is unclear whether property searches or metal detectors will become standard procedure, according to Chris Hansen, the arena's general manager.
"We'll be talking to the NHL, the St. Paul Police Department and our own security staff in the coming days, and if any of those specific recommendations are made, we will take them into consideration," Hansen said Sunday.
Nationally, no coolers will be allowed at NASCAR's race. Backpacks and briefcases will be searched at hockey games. Football fans will be asked to arrive early. Even the Goodyear blimp might not fly.
On the ground, in the sky, at stadium entrances and among tailgaters, security will be increased this week as football, hockey, auto racing and other sports resume.
Baseball returned Monday night for the first time since terrorists attacked New York and Washington on Sept. 11. New security rules were in effect for all six games, including a ban on coolers, backpacks, large bags and parking within 100 feet of the ballparks.
At colleges with large stadiums, fans were warned to be ready for heightened scrutiny.
The University of Michigan is expecting a crowd of 110,000 for its game against Western Michigan.
"Our fans should expect some possible delays, especially if they continue to come in at the last minute," said Bill Bess, the university's director of public safety. "We would like fans to get in the stadium sooner than they have in the past."
Every bag brought into the stadium will be subject to search, and other measures are being taken.
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