While experts are not aware of any specific intelligence that place American sports venues at additional risk for a terrorist attack, after the death of Osama Bin Laden, professional sports leagues as well as city, state and federal agencies are beefing up security at baseball parks, basketball arenas and other athletic venues around the country.
Although MLB spokesman to discuss what steps the sport will take to ensure the safety of fans in the wake of bin Laden’s death, it’s clear that an increase security measures is being taken. “Safety at ballparks for fans and players is important all the time,” an MLB spokesman said. “When you are in the business of providing safety, you have to stay on top of it all the time.”
The NBA for its part announced on Monday that it will increase security procedures for the conference semifinals and the remainder of the postseason. Fans attending the Bulls-Hawks Eastern Conference semifinals in Chicago, for example, will be screened with hand-held metal detectors, which were otherwise only used when officials felt they were warranted.
Experts suggest that it’s unlikely that Al Qaeda and its affiliated organizations will hit a ballpark or any other target in the United States to retaliate for Bin Laden’s death any time soon. Although the terrorist groups are obviously capable of horrific attacks, it’s also believed that they don’t have the capability to execute coordinated immediate attacks.
Is this new cause for concern enough to keep you from going to see your favorite team? Will attendance around the country at major sporting events drop? Only time will tell and everyone needs to make decisions for themselves and their family, but to say that this concern takes the fun out of going to the ball park is an understatement.