3 Methods to Secure Football Stadiums & Sports Arenas

The beginning of fall means the start of a new season for America’s favorite sport – football. Each football game attracts tens of thousands of excited fans, all crowding together to cheer on their favorite team. However, large-scale sporting events like these are targets for terrorist attacks and are rife with criminal activity and unruly fan behavior. The massive size of the arena combined with the sheer number of people makes it easy for incidents to slip under the radar, threatening the safety of attendees. Securing sports stadiums is a challenge, but it can be done effectively with the right security equipment and software.

Parking Security

Where do fans usually go when the first arrive at the stadium? The parking lot. And what is the last stop for fans before they leave? Once again, it’s the parking lot. Parking lots see just as much foot traffic as sports stadiums, yet they often lack proper security. The absence of monitoring makes parking lots hotspots for crime, especially car theft. In fact, one report found that football games are correlated with a higher incidence of car theft compared to non-game days. Sporting events offer thieves a larger pool of vehicles to target and an even larger crowd to blend into, making it less likely for them to be caught.

CCTV systems are necessary in parking lots because criminals will be less likely to act if they know that they’re being watched. Video monitoring also allows security teams to watch for any suspicious activity so they can intervene when needed. If something does happen, the recorded footage can be reviewed by authorities to further their investigation. Solar CCTV trailers are ideal for monitoring lots because they don’t need to be plugged into an electrical power source and they can be moved to any area that requires coverage. Using license plate recognition (LPR) software, like PLACA.AI, is another effective security solution for parking lots. With LPR, stadiums can capture and record every vehicle’s plate information which may come in handy for identifying and tracking suspects.

Pre-Entry Inspections

Sports stadiums are considered “soft targets” for terrorist attacks because they attract a significant portion of the public at one time. In 2015, a terrorist killed himself and a passer-by after detonating a bomb outside of the Stade de France stadium during an international soccer game. He had attempted to go inside the stadium but was stopped by security guards after they detected the explosives. Had he made it through the gates, thousands of people could’ve died. But terrorists aren’t the only threat to stadiums; violence can often come from the fans themselves. In 2012, fans at the Port Said stadium rushed onto the field and started attacking the players and their fans with knives, bottles, and clubs. This event ended with 79 dead and over 1,000 people injured.

Conducting thorough screenings of attendees before they enter is the best way to prevent terrorist attacks and violent incidents. Metal detector gates allow security teams to quickly inspect each person for weapons like knives, firearms, and other dangerous metallic items. X-ray machines are also effective for detecting weapons but unlike metal detectors, they identify threatening non-metallic items, such as illicit drugs, explosives, and hazardous sharp objects. Inspecting each person ensures that nothing dangerous enters the stadium, thereby keeping threats away from the fans.

CCTV Surveillance

The average sports stadium can seat about 60,000 people. When you have that many people in one area at a time, dangerous situations are bound to happen. Crowding can quickly turn deadly and cause people to be crushed or suffocated. Not only that, criminal activity like larceny thrives at sporting events because the busy crowds provide coverage and security teams are not able to closely watch each person.

To address these challenges, stadiums are increasingly adopting the use of CCTV surveillance. These systems allow security teams to oversee the entire stadium from a centralized control room so they can detect the respond to incidents quickly. For instance, if they see an area becoming overly congested or a suspicious person loitering around, they can dispatch officers to defuse the situation before things escalate. Some stadiums even integrate their CCTV systems with video analytics, like IFOVEA, to identify potential threats that security personnel might miss. For example, they can use facial recognition to identify individuals who have been previously banned from the venue or utilize people counting software to ensure that specific areas do not exceed their maximum capacity limits.

Contact 2M Technology for Your Stadium Security Solution

Everyday, thousands of fans pour into sports stadiums around the world. Just one security breach can threaten thousands of lives so stadiums must employ effective security strategies and stay vigilant. If you’re needing to secure your football stadium, don’t wait until the end of the season and take action now. Our security experts here at 2M Technology can help you get started when you call us +1 (866) 708-5401 or email us at sales@2mtechnology.net!

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