Penn Relays tightens security after Boston bombing

Spectators a Penn Relays won’t be allowed to carry backpacks under step-up security for the event, organizers say. 

Dave Johnson, director of the Penn Relays, said security’s always been taken seriously. But he said given what happened in Boston, additional measures will be taken this year.  “For the athletes, backpacks will be allowed, for the spectators they will not. And I suspect most items brought in will have to be displayable in clear plastic bags or the like.”

The event draws more than 40,000 people on its biggest day. Johnson said discussions about security are ongoing. He encouraged fans and athletes to be patient. “The athletes, everybody in fact, should expect slower-moving lines than normal just because, well for instance, with the athletes the backpacks will be checked rigorously.”

A list of items prohibited for this year’s relays is expected to be released soon. Penn Relays is the oldest and largest track and field event in the country.

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