Top 5 Safety Risks Facing Stadiums and Arenas

Top 5 Safety Risks Facing Stadiums and Arenas

With thousands of employees and millions of patrons each year, modern stadiums, arenas, and convention centers encounter a variety of safety and security threats. Here, we outline the five most pressing challenges facing these venues and offer a free guide, “Stadium Safety: Community-Sourced Insights at Large Events.”

1. Terrorism

Due to the size of crowds and resulting bottlenecks, large event venues are at significant risk for terrorist threats. These threats include but are not limited to active shooter attacks, explosive device detonation, forced entry attacks, biological or chemical attacks, and food or water contamination. One such example is when a suicide bomber targeted Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, following a live concert in 2017.

To prevent and mitigate these incidents, venues must have comprehensive anti-terrorism strategies and evacuation protocols in place. This may include deploying a mass notification system, establishing lockdown procedures, and ensuring effective communication with security teams and event attendees.

2. Property Damage

Event attendees, weather events, and facilities failures are leading causes of property damage at large event venues. Patron damage alone can include regular wear and tear, negligence, willful destruction, and damage resulting from stampedes or fighting. Due to open design plans, stadiums and arenas are also exposed to the elements and may face corrosion or other weather-related damages. Facilities failures, such as electrical damages or fires, present additional risk.

Although large venues typically have insurance policies in place to address property damage, owners still face costly fees, and the time needed to complete repairs can hinder profitability. Identifying property damage risk factors is crucial to preventing escalation and avoiding litigation and financial losses.

To address this problem, employees and patrons should have an easy means of reporting concerns and communicating with security teams. This will prevent further destruction and monetary loss and better equip properties to identify and respond to threats.

3. Facility Disruption

Facility disruption is another important consideration, as it can lead to event cancellations or venue evacuations. Disruptions may be caused by hazardous weather, regulation violations, significant property damage, and more. To avoid this, large venues must ensure adherence with regulations such as those regulating capacity limits, emergency exits, alcohol sales, and noise levels, and be prepared to respond to unpredictable concerns.

Event staff and leadership should also seek to identify and address any and all risks before they escalate. This can include ensuring that damages are readily repaired, emergency exits are accessible, and the venue is free of hazards. One way to identify risks is by providing patrons with an easy means of reporting concerns and hazards.

4. Worker or Patron Injuries

Venue employee or patron injury can cost stadiums between thousands and millions of dollars in worker’s compensation and legal fees, not to mention reputational damage and diminished future earnings. In a large arena, risk of injury is typically related to safety hazards such as uneven flooring, unstable railings, broken glass, and slicks and spills. Exposed electrical currents can also present dangers and put the venue at risk for fire.

Patrons and large crowds are an additional factor in injury risks. For examples, at crowded events, attendees may be intoxicated, leading to hazardous property damage or dangerous brawls.

If property managers do not take appropriate actions to address safety hazards that may cause injury, they can be held financially responsible. In addition to direct response costs, indirect costs may include lost productivity, training replacement employees, accident investigation, implementation of corrective measures, and repairing damaged equipment and property.

5. Cyber Risk

Event venues are often responsible for the personal identifiable information (PII) of their employees and patrons. This can include names, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data. Large venues must have cybersecurity policies in place to prevent cyber attacks or data breaches. This is particularly important since many venues are beginning to implement digital technologies to streamline business operations.

To prevent cyber attacks, venue leadership and security should undergo training on digital best practices and venues should ensure that PII is handled with caution.

The Role of Community-Sourced Risk Intelligence

By developing an effective prevention strategy and deploying an intuitive, easily accessible risk management platform such as LiveSafe, stadiums, arenas, and convention centers can identify and address these threats. Rapid, effective response can prevent immediate and long-lasting damage to the brand, reputation, and future revenue of the owner, sponsors, and visiting teams and performers.

LiveSafe features include anonymous tip submission, two-way communication between app users and security teams, and customizable resources that can be accessed with or without internet connection. This can help stadium patrons and employees easily report concerns so that they can be addressed before they escalate into crises.

To learn more about risk reporting at stadiums and large venues, download our free guide, “Stadium Safety: Community-Sourced Insights at Large Events.” Visit the LiveSafe website to learn more about implementing risk intelligence into your organization’s prevention strategy.

ALEXANDRA BRUNJES

Alexandra Brunjes has a B.S. in Neurobiology from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. with minors in Creative Writing and French. She is a published journalist and experienced health and science writer. Her expertise includes risk intelligence, healthcare and neuroscience, and technology.

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