WASHINGTON -- On Tuesday, the Astros announced enhanced security measures at Minute Maid Park in accordance with Major League Baseball's guidelines to ensure fan safety throughout the league.
Both hand-held and non-intrusive walk-through metal detectors will be used at all gates to facilitate and expedite entry to Minute Maid Park beginning on June 24. While fan safety is a top priority, the Astros have also taken steps to ensure that these new safety measures will have a minimal impact on timely entry into the ballpark.
Ambassadors will be placed at each gate to communicate the new guidelines to fans prior to entry, and fan feedback will be monitored to make any needed adjustments.
"We embrace and support MLB's increased security initiative, because the safety of our fans is our top priority," said Astros senior vice president of business operations Marcel Braithwaite. "We have tested and reviewed several different security measures in order to ensure our fans' safety without negatively impacting their ballpark experience. We want to be thorough without becoming intrusive.
"We will also be soliciting fan feedback in order to remain in touch with our fans on these new security initiatives. We thank Major League Baseball for placing such a high priority on the safety and security of our ballparks, and our fans for their continued support as we endeavor to keep Minute Maid Park a safe, family-friendly place to enjoy America's favorite pastime."
The list of permitted and prohibited items for Astros games at Minute Maid Park that has been in place this season will not be changed by the new security screening guidelines. A full list of those items can be found here.
Upon entering the ballpark, fans will be asked to remove cellphones from their pockets, place bags onto the screening table and walk through metal detectors with cellphones in hand. Guests will be encouraged to take prohibited items back to their cars. Items left at the gates are not the responsibility of the Astros.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.