Sox, B’s scrap games during manhunt
The Associated Press | April 20,2013
BOSTON — The Red Sox and Bruins postponed their games Friday while authorities searched for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings and officials warned nearly 1 million people to stay indoors.
The teams announced about four hours before their night games were scheduled to start that they were scratched.
Police identified two suspects in Monday’s explosions that killed three people and wounded more than 180. One suspect was killed during a shootout with police and the other was being sought in a massive manhunt that lasted much of Friday.
Authorities in Boston suspended all mass transit, used by many fans to travel to games, and told people in the entire city and some of its suburbs to stay indoors as the hunt for Suspect No. 2 went on. Businesses were asked not to open. People waiting at bus and subway stops were asked to go home.
No makeup date was announced for the opener of the Red Sox three-game series against the Kansas City Royals scheduled at Fenway Park. Saturday’s game, set to start at 1:35 p.m., was still on.
The NHL game between the Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins, two of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference, at TD Garden was tentatively rescheduled for Saturday at 12:30 p.m. A final decision on whether it would be played then would be made by four hours before faceoff, the Bruins said. Saturday night’s originally scheduled game between the Buffalo Sabres and Penguins in Pittsburgh was rescheduled for Tuesday night.
Capacity at Fenway Park, about one mile from the finish line, is 37,493 for night games. Capacity at TD Garden is 17,565.
But Red Sox players and other team employees had been told to stay home until a decision was made on whether the game would be played, and the massive police effort involved in the manhunt made security for the games difficult.
Red Sox spokesman Kevin Gregg said the Royals have been in town since Wednesday night and spent their off day in the city on Thursday.
The Royals are staying at the Westin Copley Place hotel, about a block from the marathon finish line.
“We’ve been told not to go outside. We’ve been told the hotel has been locked down, although I’ve seen a handful of people moving around,” Royals vice president Mike Swanson said. “The streets are just, wow. It’s numbingly quiet for a noon hour in Boston.”
The Bruins also announced that the sale of playoff tickets, scheduled to start at 11 a.m. on Friday, has been put off until 11 a.m. Monday.
The New England Patriots postponed for the second time a news conference with director of player personnel Nick Caserio about next week’s NFL draft. The news conference originally had been scheduled for Tuesday but was postponed after the bombings. It has been rescheduled for Monday.
Also postponed was the National Women’s Soccer League game on Saturday between the Boston Breakers and FC Kansas City in Overland Park, Kan. No makeup date was announced. The decision was based on “increased security measures that have impacted travel from the area,” NWSL executive director Cheryl Bailey said.
The league also said it would conduct a moment of silence before the national anthem at two games this weekend.
The bombings already have resulted in two major pro sports games in Boston getting scratched — the Bruins against the Ottawa Senators last Monday night and the Indiana Pacers against the Celtics on Tuesday night. The Bruins game was rescheduled for April 28. The Celtics game was canceled outright, and the NBA’s regular season ended on Wednesday.
The Celtics are scheduled to begin the first round of the playoffs Saturday in New York against the Knicks.
The Bruins resumed play on Wednesday night amid tightened security at home against the Buffalo Sabres. Fans were checked with wands and cars were subject to random searches as they entered the TD Garden underground garage.
Before the game, there was a moment of silence, a slideshow of marathon scenes on the video scoreboard above center ice and a stirring rendition of the national anthem, which was started by long-time Bruins vocalist Rene Rancourt. He sang a few lines then gestured for the fans to join in — which they did.
“We are trying to put on a show for the fans and, hopefully, give them some sort of escape,” Buffalo’s Drew Stafford said after the game. “With everything that happened, emotions were extremely high tonight. I am sure that there were not a lot of dry eyes in the stands during the anthem.”
After the game, players gathered at center ice and raised their sticks in a salute to the fans who had chanted “U.S.A.” and “We are Boston.”
AP sports writer Dave Skretta in Kansas City contributed to this report