Reporting Jessica Kartalija
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The 138th running of the Preakness Stakes is just three weeks away. After the bombings at the Boston Marathon, security is expected to be tight at Pimlico.
Jessica Kartalija explains what new measures are in place.
The new policy is designed to keep everyone safe and eliminate concern that a bombing like the one in Boston could happen here.
More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the running of the Preakness Stakes, where this year security is at an all-time high.
“We made some changes based on what transpired in Boston,” said Tom Chuckas, president of the Maryland Jockey Club.
Chuckas says minutes after the bombing at the Boston Marathon, security officials began discussing ways to make Pimlico safer.
“Our number one priority is the safety and security of our guests, our patrons, our horsemen, vendors and employees. That’s why these changes are being implemented,” he said.
Fans will be subject to an electronic wand search at the entrance. Coolers for the infield must be clear, or they will be confiscated. No camera tripods or lenses longer than 6-inches and absolutely no backpacks or duffel bags are allowed.
“Based on the circumstances that transpired, this is something that we are doing really for their benefit,” Chuckas said. “We want them to come, have a great time, and feel safe, feel secure and have a good time.”
They’re telling everyone to get there early. All items carried through the gate will be searched. Anything that is confiscated will not be returned.
More than 121,000 people watched the Preakness at Pimlico last year, setting a record for attendance.