Post-Boston, Security Beefed Up at Sports Venues Worldwide

Monday, 15 Apr 2013 08:53 PM

By David A. Patten

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Monday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon provoked an immediate tightening of security at sporting facilities, not only around the United States but also abroad.

“Everybody’s scared because it was a sporting event,” former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell told Newsmax.

Several cities immediately took additional security measures after the attack, which left at least three dead and more than 130 wounded.

In Cleveland, officials were sparing no effort to keep players and fans safe at Monday night’s high-profile NBA game between the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game went on as scheduled.

Rendell, who has an upcoming speaking engagement in Cleveland, said a Cleveland Cavaliers executive informed his staff Monday that “we’re putting in additional security measures for tonight.”

Cleveland police said there were no credible threats in the area. But according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, police increased patrols, put a bomb squad on stand-by, and deployed a canine unit.

Major League Baseball officials say they are monitoring the overall situation, adding that fan safety remains their top priority. A three-game series is scheduled to begin Tuesday between the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians.

The National Hockey League, meanwhile, canceled the scheduled hockey game between the Ottawa Senators and the Boston Bruins at TD Garden in Boston. ESPN reports that police were patting down everyone entering the North train station located below TD Garden, as well as searching bags and luggage.

A large number of police are typically on hand at major sporting events. In Boston, officials want every available officer to be focused on maintaining order, investigating the attacks, and enhancing public safety. NBA officials said they have not yet decided whether to hold Tuesday’s scheduled game in Boston between the Boston Celtics and the Indiana Pacers, also at TD Garden.

Also, the NFL’s New England Patriots announced: “Due to the tragic events, the Patriots have respectfully postponed their pre-draft press conference that was scheduled at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, April 16. We plan to reschedule the press conference later this week.”

Several commentators Monday compared the Boston Marathon bombing to the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, which occurred during that year’s Summer Olympics. That bombing was perpetrated by Eric Robert Rudolph, a domestic terrorist.

The marathon bombing will have international repercussions. London has been targeted by terrorists since 9/11, and 52 people lost their lives in a series of suicide attacks on public transportation there in 2005.

The London Marathon is scheduled for this Sunday, and officials say security plans are being carefully reconsidered in the aftermath of the Boston attack.

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