Security Will Have A Higher Profile At 56th Little League Baseball World Series
NYPD lieutenant to serve as security director
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Fans of the Little League Baseball World Series will notice several obvious enhancements to security at the annual event this August, it was announced today by Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball, at the annual Little League Baseball World Series luncheon.
Among the visible changes will be a decorative security fence around most of the 66-acre complex. Anyone entering the complex during the event will need to do so only at specific entry points, and will be required to pass through a screening process that may include metal detectors. Also, coolers, large tarps and tents will not be permitted.
In the past, fans could enter the complex from almost any point. Metal detectors have only been used once during the Little League Baseball World Series – last year during the championship game visit by U.S. President George W. Bush. Previously, coolers were permitted on the hill beyond the outfield fence. Little League also is considering other security enhancements that will not be disclosed.
“As always, the Little League Baseball World Series will be a fun, wholesome place to bring the entire family,” Mr. Keener said. “We also have a responsibility to ensure this is a safe and fun event not only for the teams, but for the tens of thousands of visitors to the world series We’re grateful for the cooperation of local, state and federal law enforcement officials in working to achieve that.”
Mr. Keener stressed there were no specific threats regarding the Little League Baseball World Series leading to the decision to implement these new security measures. “Like many other events, we re-evaluated our security measures after the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001,” he said.
Little League also announced that Matthew L. Bases, a lieutenant in the New York City Police Department, has been named security director for the Little League Baseball World Series. During the past nine years, Mr. Bases has been a resident security agent for the Commissioner’s Office of Major League Baseball. In this capacity, he has been involved with security measures at numerous events, including Mark McGwire’s 1998 chase of Roger Maris’ single season home run record, the All-Star Game, League Championship Series play, and the World Series.
“We’re pleased to have a person of Matt Bases’ caliber on our team to direct security operations at the Little League Baseball World Series,” Mr. Keener said. “His experience and expertise will be put to good use.”
Certain challenges regarding security at the Little League Baseball World Series are made obvious by the event’s accessibility. Tickets to all 32 games of the World Series are given away free, and are not required at all for most seats. Parking also is free.
Last year, total attendance for the 32 games was 297,000 for nine days of play, with the largest crowd (44,800) on the final day.
“Admission to the Little League Baseball World Series will remain free of charge – that will not change,” Mr. Keener said. “Visitors can expect possible delays and minor inconveniences because of the new measures. I know our fans will understand our goal is to ensure that the teams visiting us from all corners of the globe and the many children who come to watch are safe. We want them to continue to have fun here.”
The Little League Baseball World Series is the culmination of the world’s largest sports tournament, with more than 16,000 games played in six weeks on six continents. The Little League International Tournament ends with 16 teams advancing to Williamsport for the World Series. Information for the public on attending the Little League Baseball World Series is available at: http://www.littleleague.org
Little League Baseball and Little League Softball includes 2.8 million players in all 50 states and 103 other countries, with 1 million adult volunteers.