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7 Good Ideas to Improve Stadium Security



7 Good Ideas to Improve Stadium Security

Unfortunately for sports fans, stadiums are often chosen as targets by terrorists, violent extremists, and other bad actors. Before entering the venue, sports fans must go through bag checks and pat-downs in the security process. Stadium management teams have to find the right balance between keeping attendees safe and ensuring the fans enjoy a positive experience.

As threats evolve, security measures must keep evolving as well. These seven ideas to improve stadium security can help make a difference.


1. Start your security efforts outside the stadium

Potential attackers don’t just appear inside a stadium. Therefore, stadium security measures should not start at the stadium’s gate but at its parking area’s entrance. Vehicle access should be controlled and restricted.

The stadium’s video surveillance system should be installed to allow cameras to keep an eye on everything, including the parking lot, the entrances, the exits, the hallways, and the staircases.

As for security personnel, on top of being present at security checkpoints, they should also monitor the crowds moving towards these checkpoints and look for any suspicious behaviour.


2. Make the most of AI security

If the security system of a stadium is due for an upgrade, it may be time to implement AI security measures. AI-powered stadium security technology can detect concealed weapons and other potential dangers. They allow security personnel to react proactively to prevent attacks and violence.

For sports fans, AI security usually means a frictionless entry and a more enjoyable experience, as bag checks and invasive pat-downs might not be necessary anymore. Of course, using AI security is not meant to replace security personnel and video surveillance systems but to complement these measures and to help them be more effective.


3. Establish visible security measures

Although some fans can be unhappy about security checkpoints, the truth is that visible security measures can be enough to deter individuals who are thinking of bringing a bomb to a sports game.

Bag checks, metal detectors, security personnel and other measures must be active and visible before, during, and after each event. Post signage explaining the different security measures outside and inside the stadium is also good.

This shows sports fans that their security is a priority for the stadium personnel, and it can also make bad actors think twice about choosing this venue as their next target.


4. Avoid creating easy targets for potential attacks

Terrorists and attackers love large gatherings. Big crowds allow them to go unnoticed, and they also make interesting targets for them. Therefore, one good idea to improve stadium security is to avoid creating easy targets by separating densely populated areas from one another.

This includes security checkpoints, but also merchandise areas and tailgate party areas. Each of these locations should also involve additional security measures.

Another good idea is to ensure the main security and communications command center is not inside the stadium. If it is, it can become another interesting target for attackers who want to prevent security personnel from responding properly to emergencies.


5. Communicate clearly with attendees

Speaking of communication, stadiums need to communicate clearly with everyone who purchases tickets for an event. Attendees should be informed of the security measures at the stadium in advance, so they can see these measures as something positive from the start.

And when they know what they can bring at the event and which items are prohibited, they are likelier to follow the rules.

This makes their entry into the stadium go more smoothly instead of clogging security checkpoints. Clogged security checkpoints are frustrating for sports fans but are also prime targets for terrorists.


6. Allow attendees to report suspicious activities

Despite their efforts, it’s difficult for security personnel to have eyes and ears everywhere inside the stadium. Why not allow sports fans to get involved and report suspicious behaviour?

Some stadiums are implementing text message reporting, which makes it possible for attendees to communicate with security personnel if they notice something or someone suspicious.

This can help prevent all types of incidents and make attendees feel more secure inside the stadium.


7. Rehearse emergency protocols with security personnel

To respond effectively to emergencies, security personnel must be fully aware of all the security measures at the stadium. They must know why these measures are in place and their role if the venue’s surveillance system detects a potential threat.

Keeping personnel up to date and rehearsing emergency protocols with them is the best way to ensure they are ready to respond to emergencies and to collaborate efficiently to ensure everyone’s safety.


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Jacob graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Reading. An avid footballer, he spent time under the FAW academy programme as well as Cardiff Corinthians. Later going on to play for his university and Wellington United whilst residing in New Zealand. He currently resides in Frome, Somerset. You can contact him at [email protected]


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