Boston sporting events gave way to manhunt

Search for suspect pushed back Boston events

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BOSTON — The Red Sox and Bruins postponed their games Friday as authorities searched for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, virtually shutting the city down.

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 man was killed during a shootout with police and the other was in custody Friday night after a police effort that dragged through the day, Boston police said.

Authorities in Boston suspended all mass transit, used by many fans to get to games, and told people throughout Boston and some of its suburbs to stay inside for much of Friday as the hunt for Suspect No. 2 went on. Trains were finally allowed to run again after 6 p.m.

No makeup date was announced for the opener of the Red Sox three-game series against the Kansas City Royals scheduled at Fenway Park. Today’s game is still on.

The NHL game at TD Garden between the Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins, two of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference, was tentatively rescheduled for Saturday at 12:30 p.m. A final decision on whether it would be played was to be made by four hours before faceoff, the Bruins said. Tonight’s originally scheduled game between the Buffalo Sabres and Penguins in Pittsburgh was rescheduled for Tuesday night.

“We totally understand the situation and (are) respectful of that,” Penguins general manager Ray Shero said. “Hopefully, (we) have a chance to play tomorrow if that’s the case, but, again, the safety of the people of Boston, the city of Boston is most important for everybody.”

Capacity at Fenway Park, about one mile from the finish line, is 37,493 for night games. Capacity at TD Garden is 17,565. With fans advised to stay home and police devoted to the manhunt, the decision to postpone was easy.

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.

“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 earlier Friday. “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. 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.

The suspension of Amtrak train service forced the New England Revolution to change plans and travel by bus Friday morning to their game against the New York Red Bulls scheduled Saturday night at Red Bull Stadium in Harrison, N.J.

Boston College canceled all home athletic events for Saturday, including the annual spring football game.

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.

Even before the manhunt, the bombings resulted in two major pro sports games in Boston being 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 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.

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.”


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