Baseball fans making their first trip of the season to the Blue Jays home opener at the Rogers Centre on Monday will find it a lot like going to the airport, minus having to remove their shoes and belts.
New security measures have been in place since the start of the Major League Baseball season last week at 29 parks and stadiums in the United States.
Now it will be Toronto's turn at Rogers Centre on Monday night when Canada's only MLB franchise open up its 39th season in the American League against the Tampa Bay Rays.
As part of new security protocols announced by MLB during the off-season, fans going to baseball games this season will be required to pass through metal detectors when they enter a stadium.
The league cited the Boston Marathon bombing as the impetus to try to standardize security at all of its ballparks after seeking advice from the Department of Homeland Security.
"This procedure, which results from MLB's continuing work with the Department of Homeland Security to standardize security practices across the game, will be in addition to bag checks that are now uniform throughout MLB," baseball spokesman Michael Teevan told Associated Press when the new measures were first announced.
In Toronto – as was the case in New York and in Baltimore, where the Blue Jays played their first two series of the regular season – that will mean fans will have to pass through magnetometers upon arrival at Rogers.
They will be "walk through metal detectors similar to what you would see at the airport," Stephen Brooks, the Blue Jays senior vice-president of business operations, said in an e-mail. "Every major gate will have them. If metal is detected one would then be wanded.
"It's not as strict as airport level security," Brooks said, noting that patrons will not have to remove shoes or other apparel before passing through security."
The advice that Brooks and all teams are giving fans is to plan ahead and arrive early to avoid any potential lineup problems that the new measures could create.
Game time for the first pitch in Toronto on Monday is 7:07 p.m. (ET) and all the gates will open by 5 p.m.
In New York at Yankee Stadium last Monday when the Yankees opened their season against the Blue Jays the new procedure caused plenty of confusion with the fans, resulting in long lineups at many of the gates.
The slowdown appeared to result after fans were asked to remove keys and cellphones from their pockets before the screening proceeded. In some cases, it took as long as 20 minutes for people to enter the stadium.
In Baltimore, there seemed to be fewer issues as fans were better prepared for the added security, getting inside with far less trouble.
In Toronto, fans with bags will be directed to designated "Bag Only" lanes, as in previous years. The bags will be inspected before fans walk through the metal detectors.
Fans who are not carrying bags will be directed to the "Express" lanes, where they will pass through the walk-through metal detectors.