(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — Reworked security plans have been implemented at a number of upcoming sporting events, including Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, in hopes of minimizing the risks of an attack similar to that of the Boston Marathon bombing.
“After Boston, these big events cannot even begin to roll the dice and say, ‘Maybe we can skip here or there,’” Good Morning America sports contributor Christine Brennan said. “They’ve got to go all in and be as strong with their security as they have ever been.”
As spectators arrive at Churchill Downs for the famed Kentucky Derby on Saturday, they will have to leave their coolers, cans, and glass bottles behind. While Derby fans’ trademark hats are still permissible, snapping photos at the race will only be allowed if the camera doesn’t have a detachable lens.
Despite the heightened security measures, it is still possible for individuals to evade stricter rules.
According to an arrest report, a 44-year-old man was able to sneak into Millionaires’ Row at Churchill Downs without a ticket on Thursday. He then allegedly sat at a table and threatened to shoot people.
He was later taken into custody. Authorities did not find a weapon on the man.
The Kentucky Derby is not the only event where authorities plan to be vigilant. In preparation for the NBA Playoffs, the league told ABC News in a prepared statement that safety was always a priority.
“We regularly practice a wide range of state of the art security measures in all of our arenas,” the NBA said.
Meanwhile, at the Long Island Marathon, authorities will have radiation detectors and police explosives-sniffing dog unit along the course of the race to identify any potential threats.
Only runners will be permitted at the starting line area, only clear bags distributed by the race’s organizers will be permitted in bag check, and spectators won’t be allowed to bring any bags into the finish line area, according to the marathon’s website.
Following the Boston Marathon attacks on April 15, Lou Marcini, director of the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., told ABC News that security at large sporting events “is very difficult to ensure.”
“If I go to a marathon tomorrow, are we going to be completely secure? The answer is probably not,” Marciani said. “We’ll do the best we can.”
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