Stadiums are considered “soft targets” in the security world because large numbers of eventgoers are entering the venue for recreational purposes such as sporting events or concerts. Attendee capacities vary widely by stadium size, ranging from 20,000 at the low end to 90,000+ at the largest venues. These figures don’t even include all the arena staff, event staff, players, and other behind-the-scenes workers. Keeping all these people safe, not to mention the physical structure of the stadium itself, is a daunting challenge. Stadium and arena security has become an increasingly important topic of discussion.
Security Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan
One thing that has become all too clear in recent years is the need for everyone to take stadium safety measures more seriously than ever before. Stadium security begins with a thorough security risk assessment to identify gaps and vulnerabilities. This assessment must then be followed by a comprehensive risk management plan to adequately address what’s needed to fill the gaps and reduce vulnerabilities, including plenty of staff awareness, education, and training. It’s important to note that the scope of these activities must extend to the immediate outside areas of the stadium in terms of ticket windows, parking lots, and even further to nearby transportation hubs used by eventgoers to arrive at the venue. Here are some valuable resources with more information:
- Stadium Physical Security: Best Practices Every Plan Should Have (Sloan Security Group).
- Introducing a Risk Assessment Model for Sport Venues (The Sport Journal).
- Stadium and Arena Security (Center for Spectator Sports Security Management).
Staff Awareness, Education, and Training is the Key to Safer Stadiums
An approach that’s becoming more common among stadiums is putting groups of staff from different departments through a series of table-top exercises to see how they respond to diverse safety and security scenarios. These exercises help solidify education and training and identify potential gaps where training and education efforts can be improved to better equip stadium staff for knowing what to do in various incidents. Besides these kinds of table-top exercises, other training recommendations include the following (source):
- Require de-escalation, crowd management, and active shooter training for event staff, and provide basic cyber hygiene training for staff with access to cyber infrastructure.
- Engage with TEAM Coalition or TIPS for alcohol management training and responsible consumer campaigns.
- Offer in-person staff training supplemented by e-learning programs. Virtual platforms, such as Zoom, can also be leveraged.
The Technology of Stadium Safety and Security Measures
Tried-and-true “old school” security practices at stadiums include security checkpoints that include various types of screening, such as incoming attendees passing through a metal detector, x-ray bag scanning, having their bags searched, or even the requirement that all bags be see-through for ease of checking, and so on. Those traditional methods are now being supplemented with more advanced technologies, such as high-tech security cameras and closed-circuit TV monitors. These systems can become part of a smart-stadium approach that results in rapid notification of security personnel when an incident is developing or is already underway. Another important aspect of CCTV imaging technology is the ability to employ AI (artificial intelligence) applications such as facial recognition, which can be invaluable in helping law enforcement figure out what happened and who did what in a post-incident investigation.
Drones are becoming useful for unmanned aerial surveillance (UAS) to get a bird’s-eye view of what’s happening in and around a stadium. They can help identify places where crowd concentration is becoming problematic within the stadium and discern issues outside the stadium, such as a vehicle in the wrong place. However, there are downsides to drone surveillance, such as the expense of owning, maintaining, and operating them, not to mention their utility being threatened in some weather conditions. There is also the concern of unauthorized drone intrusions into stadiums, which is yet another security threat to consider.
Stadium and Arena Bullet-Resistant Glass
While there are any number of areas where the threat of gun violence in a stadium setting can be addressed, by far the most common area where bullet-resistant glass barriers are walk-up ticket windows where people purchase tickets ahead of an event. Creative Industries manufactures a multitude of bullet-resistant products to provide greater security and safety at stadiums of all sizes.
Bulletproof Ticket Window: Available in three standard sizes, including 24×36, 24×42, and 24×48, it features an adjustable aluminum clamp-on frame designed to fit walls ranging from 5–8.5 inches thick. It also includes a two-way voice-amplified bullet-resistant talk thru clear communication through the barrier. With a patented countertop and drawer combination constructed of stainless steel and weather-stripped to minimize energy loss, facilitating customer transactions has never been easier, even while protecting stadium staff and operations.
Bulletproof Walk-Up Window: Another product popular with our stadium customers, this one is also available in three standard sizes (24×36; 30×36; 36×36). It features an aluminum frame, our patented stainless-steel countertop with drawer, weather-stripping for minimal energy loss, and natural voice transmission through our patented model No. 5-D cast stainless steel talk thru. This product is shipped without glazing material permanently installed, meaning the desired sealant will be applied at the time of installation.
Many customers are able to work with our standard products, but please note all our products are fully customizable not only in terms of size but also with one of seven different talk-thrus. Any customized combination of window, deal tray, drawer, talk-thru, or pass-through cabinet products gives you maximum flexibility to come up with the configuration that will best meet a stadium’s specific needs.
Creative Industries: Your Expert Partner in Stadium Safety and Security
When the safety and security of business operations, staff, and customers is what’s at stake, there is no substitute for working with a partner you can trust who also brings both deep expertise and many years of experience to the table. Creative Industries has been making bullet-resistant products since the 1970s, and our projects have included something like a quarter of the nation’s major sports stadiums. A few examples of our stadium work include Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA, Plainfield High School Athletics, Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, IN, Kokomo Municipal Stadium, and the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum in Indianapolis, IN. Learn more by reaching out through our Contact Us page or call us directly at 800-776-2068. We look forward to serving you!