Generally, during sports events, there is a lot of emotion and enthusiasm that comes over the mass of people. This emotion can sometimes turn into violence. The behavior of fans has always been an issue concerning security professionals in the sports field.
The event that occurred on 9/11 awakened officials at sports venues to look closer at the policies they have in place regarding their security.
When we look back at around 40 years, we can observe that high-profile incidents have brought to our notice the security threats present towards sports venues. Like with most crowd related issues, good crowd control and products can help solve the issues, click here to see some effective crowd management products.
We can also understand how the sports security industry has grown as a response to the events.
1. The Hillsborough Disaster That Took Place In 1989
A match between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool progressed and became a nightmare of a disaster. In fact, it was one of the worst incidents in sports history in Britain. Ninety-six people passed away, and more than a hundred people were injured.
Greater than ten thousand fans who had tickets to four standing terraces came in through only seven entrances. Due to this, it caused too much congestion as they entered.
Of the four sections, two of them reached total capacity, but the fans didn’t stop entering. More and more fans kept coming into the stadium.
Incoming fans into the location caused the spectators who were in the front rows to get pushed and then pressed on the fencing made of steel.
When the barriers started collapsing, some fans got crushed. Some people climbed over the fences so they wouldn’t get crushed and die due to it.
The concerned people did the official investigations only later, in the year 2016. They summed it up that the deaths and injuries were not due to the crowd’s mistake. It was due to no crowd control safety mechanisms in place.
It was also due to a lack of communication, low-quality construction of the stadium, and very slow response to the emergency.
2. Camp Randall Crush Of 1993
After a win in a football game, the students belonging to the University of Wisconsin began storming into the field in the Camp Randall stadium. The storming caused a fence to fall over, and plenty of students got trampled over.
In total, seventy-three people got injured; six of them were seriously hurt.
For the next season, some changes in the security protocols were made. The upgrades involved putting in stronger fences, staircases, and a lot of space at the bottom of the student sections so that students have room for filtering out.
The department of athletics had added one command center to the press box. They also added new equipment for video surveillance for monitoring and keeping an eye on fans’ behavior.
3. The Atlanta Summer Olympics Of 1996
Eric Rudolph had kept a bomb inside a backpack in the Centennial Olympic Park. The incident killed a person and ended up injuring plenty of others. The Centennial Olympic Park was the only park that was open to the public.
The security was raised right after this event, and the personnel then checked all bags compulsorily before the entrance.
4. 2001: The 9/11 Incident
After the event where the planes crashed right above the WTC, the Saltwater city Winter Olympics witnessed a rise in security personnel, and there was also screening of bags that were included.
5. Malice At The Palace In 2004
A brawl that took place at the Palace of Auburn Hills was a serious one, where players got into a fight in the last few minutes of their game. After the players of the game stopped fighting, a fan from the audience threw a bottle at one of the players, which caused a fight again.
A few sports fans had to face criminal charges, and nine basketball players had to be suspended post this.
A few months later, the NBA put into place new policies for the leagues wherein there was a limit set on the number of alcoholic beverages a person could buy. Also, a minimum of three guards was needed between the players and fans.
6. The Bombing At The University Of Oklahoma In 2005
When a football game was going on, a student called Joe Hinrichs turned on a bomb in a plaza that was even lesser than 200 yards away from the Gaylord family Oklahoma memorial stadium. The bomber was the only one who lost his life.
This incident caused the first-ever drill to take place in that college.
7. The Parking Lot Attack At Dodgers Stadium In 2011
Some Dodgers fans badly beat up a fan of the San Francisco Giants after a game in a parking area. The attacked person suffered seriously from injury. The dodgers raised security protocol after this incident in all of their parking lots.
8. Bombing At The Boston Marathon In 2013
As bombs went off near the finish line of the Boston marathon, it killed three persons and injured plenty. Many changes were implemented for the marathon in the year 2014. All spectators were supposed to carry all their belonging in clear plastic bags henceforth.
9. Stade De France Bombing In 2015
There was a terrorist attack in Paris, and more than one hundred people lost their lives. However, the deaths could have been much more if not for security personnel who denied entry to a suicide bomber at the Stade de France on that day.
As many sports events keep happening across the world, it is essential that officials look into crowd control safety protocols to keep the fans and the players safe. Negligence can cause a lot of havoc, as seen in the past sports events across the world.
However, after almost every unfortunate event, officials have learned something new and have made further adjustments to the security protocols, whether it has been bag checking or using transparent plastics.
There might’ve been plenty of other events in the evolution of sports venue security, but the major ones have been covered in this piece.