As Boston prepares to host the first game of the 2013 World Series, Boston officials gathered Tuesday for a press conference at City Hall to warn the public about several changes in the city during Wednesday’s game between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals.
“I want to thank the fans for their support during the ALC [American League Championship] Series,” said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. “Everyone was safe, and that is what is important to me. A very important message this morning [is] to ask all Red Sox fans to be responsible and respectful in cheering on our team. It is important these games are safe and fun experiences for everyone, everywhere.”
Menino said there would be no stopping allowed for cars in the Fenway area including Brookline Avenue, Boylston Street and Yawkey Way from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. during the game, and warned that many roads would most likely be closed altogether. He said public transportation was the best option for people getting to and from Fenway Park.
Daniel Linskey, superintendent-in-chief of Boston Police Department, said the primary concern of the police — who he said will have a “significant presence” in the Fenway area — is to make sure fans of all ages are safe, especially the college students in the area.
“We’d like to remind new college students for whom this is your first championship series, something we’re very accustomed to here in the city of Boston, [is] that if you’re a student and you’re arrested, you should know that there are consequences not only with the police department and the court, but with your college and university as well,” he said.
Lawrence Lucchino, president of the Red Sox, said he had some concerns for the public during the World Series home games, but was appreciative for the support the baseball team received this season, especially after the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15.
“These players feel a special bond, a connection to the city,” he said. “It’s developed for a lot of reasons, but certainly not the least of which was the tragedy we all experienced together [in April]. We’re all residents or citizens of this town, this region, and the bonding that came together after that tragic occurrence was pervasive and certainly affected our baseball players.”
One concern most speakers brought up was public drunkenness and drunk driving, encouraging everyone to keep in mind solutions such as designated drivers and public transportation.
Patrricia Malone, director of consumer affairs and licensing for the City of Boston, said restrictions on bars and restaurants were also in place to add another preventative measure against alcohol-related problems.
Among the measures was a ban on entering any licensed establishment after the seventh inning, strictly enforcing capacity limits, and making sure lines to order were kept short, she said.
While some of the restrictions are important, Linskey said as long as people are generally responsible, the police are more than prepared to secure the game.
“We’re looking to show the crowd we’re ready for celebration,” he said. “We want everyone to know what we’re doing and why, and once the fans know what we’re doing, they’ve been very cooperative and responsible for helping us out … We’ve asked people to step up and help us keep you safe, and they have stepped up and done amazingly in every incident so far.”
The Wednesday game is the first in the series and it begins at 8 p.m. This is the first World Series appearance for the Red Sox since they won in 2007.