With safety as a top concern, especially in light of recent events around the country, the Round Rock Express have announced a variety of enhanced fan safety features at Dell Diamond in advance of the start of the 2018 season.
“Safety is our number one concern for anyone entering Dell Diamond,” said Express President Chris Almendarez. “We believe the solutions we’re implementing this season will appropriately balance fan safety while keeping a positive fan experience top of mind.”
Following the recommendation from Major League Baseball, the protective field netting at Dell Diamond will extend to the end of the dugouts, from section 114 to 124. The Express have always been compliant with Minor League Baseball standards, but also listen to industry developments and felt it was necessary to improve on this safety standard before the start of the season. The netting will continue to provide enhanced safety for fans while not deterring from their view or enjoyment of the game.
Fans will also notice elevated guest screening procedures at all entrances to Dell Diamond, including the introduction of metal detectors. All fans will be required to pass through a metal detector prior to entering the stadium for all events. Fans will not need to remove shoes, belts, watches or other jewelry, but will be asked to remove all cell phones, large belt buckles and large keys, among other items, prior to passing through the detectors. As in the past, all backpacks, bags and purses will also be checked for prohibited items.
“Our goal is to interfere as little as possible with the ingress of fans into the stadium while maintaining the highest level of safety,” said Director of Stadium Operations Gene Kropff. “With the enhanced guest screening, we are improving on our goal of keeping deadly weapons out of Dell Diamond.”
Additionally, the team worked with city officials to create a new traffic pattern into the stadium to cut down on traffic congestion along U.S. 79. Telander Drive, currently the main access point to the stadium, will be closed on event days and fans will be directed to enter the parking lot at the newly-named Express Way, the long entrance leading up to the Home Plate Gates. Fans traveling east down U.S. 79 will make a U-turn at Telander Drive and make their first right onto Express Way. All other entrances will operate as normal.
“The goal with these updated traffic patterns is to make it quicker and easier for fans to access Dell Diamond on event days,” said Express General Manager Tim Jackson. “The traffic tends to back up along 79 at peak times before events, causing delays not only for fans entering the stadium, but for other cars simply driving down the highway. Our intention is to cut down on those delays and get fans safely and efficiently into the parking lots and off the highway.”
Fans will see most of these safety features during Fan Fest this Saturday, including the updated traffic pattern and the presence of metal detectors.
The Express open the 2018 season on Thursday, April 5 with a five-game series against the Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals affiliate) at Dell Diamond.