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Long lines at security checkpoints frustrate Orioles fans at home opener

Baltimore Orioles Opening Day sights and sounds as they take on the New York Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun video)

Fans who didn’t arrive early for the Orioles’ home opener Thursday were treated to long lines at security checkpoints, in some cases not getting to their seats until the third inning.

That explained why the upper deck at Oriole Park looked almost empty when the game started, but there remained a lot of unoccupied seats after the logjams at the entrances cleared.

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“We got here late, maybe 3:10 or 3:15, and thought we would be able to walk right in,” said Winn Friddell of Baltimore, “but there were long lines at all entrances to the stadium. I'm not sure why. Different than any other Opening Day, so I just figured something went wrong.”

A larger-than-usual number of fans showing up close to game time and a Major League Baseball requirement to carefully monitor bags and containers coming into the stadium more carefully this year contributed to the long lines.

That was confirmed by Orioles vice president of communications, Greg Bader.

“Oriole Park’s policy allows many types of bags to be brought into the ballpark,” he said in a text message to The Baltimore Sun. “The trade-off of having such a policy is the thoroughness it requires to search all the bags to meet MLB security standards. These security measures combined with a sold-out crowd of fans arriving around the same time are the primary causes of the wait times some fans experienced today.”

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