Nationals to start screening fans with metal detectors

A man demonstrates walking through a  newly installed metal detector at Nationals Park Monday, March 23, 2015. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
A man demonstrates walking through a newly installed metal detector at Nationals Park Monday, March 23, 2015. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
A sign alerts fans to the newly installed metal detectors at Nationals Park. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
A sign alerts fans to the newly installed metal detectors at Nationals Park. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
A woman goes through security at Nationals Park  Monday, March 23. Fans will be screened by metal detectors beginning with the For the first exhibition game on April 4.  (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
A woman goes through security at Nationals Park Monday, March 23. Fans will be screened by metal detectors beginning with the first exhibition game on April 4. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
A man walks through a newly installed metal detector at Nationals Park Monday, March 23. Fans will be screened by the detectors beginning with the For the first exhibition game on April 4.  (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
A man walks through a newly installed metal detector at Nationals Park Monday, March 23. Fans will be screened by the detectors beginning with the first exhibition game on April 4. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
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A man demonstrates walking through a  newly installed metal detector at Nationals Park Monday, March 23, 2015. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
A sign alerts fans to the newly installed metal detectors at Nationals Park. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
A woman goes through security at Nationals Park  Monday, March 23. Fans will be screened by metal detectors beginning with the For the first exhibition game on April 4.  (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
A man walks through a newly installed metal detector at Nationals Park Monday, March 23. Fans will be screened by the detectors beginning with the For the first exhibition game on April 4.  (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)

WASHINGTON – Peanuts, Cracker Jacks and now metal detectors.

A sport that has long valued a “good eye” is turning to technology to provide a closer look and improve ballpark security.

By Opening Day next month, 29 major league ballparks, including Nationals Park, will have metal detection screening for all fans prior to entry.

“We obviously encourage everybody to come early to the games,” says Frank Gambino, vice president of ballpark operations for the Nationals.

The new screening will be in effect for the exhibition against the Yankees on April 4.

“We’ve essentially modified the vast majority of gates at Nationals Park, expanded them, added walk-through metal detectors,” he says.

Only Wrigley Field in Chicago will delay the league mandate, due to ongoing renovations.

At Nationals Park, season ticket holders will have dedicated security lanes at four different gates.

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