Calling them a team full of personality, heart and beards, Mayor Tom Menino celebrated the Boston Red Sox World Series run at City Hall Tuesday. But he and other officials on hand were there to stress something more important before Game 1 kicks off.
"Public safety is our top priority," Menino said.
That priority includes parking restrictions around Fenway and possible street closures, depending on crowd size. Menino and others are urging people to avoid driving in favor of public transportation.
Those who still opt to drive won’t be able to move their cars from parking lots and garages after the 7th inning of a deciding game.
"We need all the fans to cooperate, to enjoy the celebration, and good, clean fun," Menino said. "Let’s show the nation why we’re a first class city on the field, and off the field."
About 500 Boston Police officers will be on hand around Fenway for Games One and Two. Superintendent-in-Chief Daniel Linskey says police have learned a lot in the nine years since the death of Victoria Snelgrove, the 21-year-old college student killed by a police projectile after the Red Sox won the 2004 American League Championship.
"We’ve had a lot of emotions and a lot of tragedies over these sports championships, and it’s tragic for the families involved, and it’s tragic for the officers involved," Linskey said. "The department and the city, we keep that in mind. We have resources that if we have to step it up we certainly can, but our goal is to not even touch them."
Linskey says fans will be the department’s number one asset. One way he says they intend to reach out to that asset is social media.
"And once we get the message to people and we tell them what we need them to do, they’ve been very responsive at doing that," he said. "The other night we had people tweeting they were coming to Kenmore Square. We tweeted right back, “Please don’t come to Kenmore Square. It’s a little busy down there.” And they were very respectful and realized, “Oh, I don’t wanna cause a problem."
In light of the Boston Marathon bombings six months ago, Linskey admits, “things in our world have changed.”
Linskey says that Boston Police are in daily contact with the FBI, but no additional resources have been requested. He also says the World Series will not be designated as a National Special Security Event, which is given if an event is deemed a potential terrorist target.
The Department of Homeland Security tells WGBH News that the World Series does not have what it calls a special event assessment rating that's high enough to require such a designation. The only sporting event that does, it says, is the Super Bowl.