Understanding that stadiums and sports venues will continue to make appealing high-profile targets for terrorist groups and individuals seeking to make a global statement, CRA works with stadium managers and operations staff at sports venues nationwide to enhance efforts to prevent attacks, or mitigate the effects of a disastrous incident.
Differing from other terrorist targets of interest, such as aircraft or commuter trains, fans at sporting venues are typically focused on the game itself, and less likely to observe potential suspicious behavior. This factor greatly reduces the chances that a terrorist attack at a stadium will be prevented by patron vigilance. The congestion of persons in concourses and stairwells not only provides cover for suspicious activities to go unnoticed, but also presents the potentially deadly scenario of trampling should an incident occur. An attack on a sports venue does not require completion to be successful. The mere mention of a plot or threat against a mass-gathering site can produce disastrous effects on the public’s attitude regarding safety, and have a significant economic impact on the venue and neighboring area.
CRA understands that stadium managers and operational staff face numerous difficulties in redefining security at sporting venues. Stadium managers, along with their partners in government and emergency management, must make security preparations well in advance of an event, while maintaining a balance between preserving safety and retaining an enjoyable fan experience. Increased foresight and precautions have become an integral part of planning and security at athletic venues. Every venue is different, and therefore presents unique challenges that need to be considered and overcome.
To assist our partners in the sports entertainment industry, CRA offers plan refinement, awareness training, and response exercises to assist major sports organizations, stadiums, and sports venues nationwide. Our team of experts has worked with teams and stadium managers representing Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL), and NASCAR, and we designed and conducted the exercise series for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
CRA is proud of our work supporting:
- Major League Baseball
- National Football League
- NCAA Football
We offer terrorism awareness training for stadium security and venue support staff to help educate personnel on identifying suspicious activity and recognizing potential indicators and warnings of terrorist or criminal activity. CRA has successfully provided this type of training to clients such as Amtrak and the security staff of the Empire State Building in New York. Our custom-tailored awareness training focuses upon the recognition of attack indicators and warnings, detectable aspects of a terrorist operation that are required for a plot to come to fruition, and each class is custom-tailored for specific venues and agencies.
In addition, CRA offers specifically-tailored Senior Leaders Seminars (SLS) and Tabletop Exercises (TTXs) for the executive staff of stadiums and sports venues to discuss and refine plans and procedures in the context of a hypothetical exercise scenario based in their stadium. CRA has conducted numerous discussion-based workshops and TTXs with stadiums and sports venues to help improve response plans and policies, including our work with the Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates, Atlanta Braves, the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Dover International Speedway.
For stadiums and sports venues who wish to evaluate the effectiveness of their response plans, CRA offers operations-based exercises such as Functional and Full Scale Exercises. These “live action” events allow stadium managers and operational personnel a safe and realistic environment to validate plans and procedures in response to a simulated incident in the stadium, typically involving large numbers of volunteers to role play as fans and patrons.
For example, CRA supported a Full Scale Exercise for the Pittsburgh Pirates which involved the evacuation of 5,000 volunteers from a section of the ballpark following the simulated detonation of an explosive device in PNC Park. The exercise allowed the Pirates organization and dozens of partner agencies to successfully evaluate an integrated emergency response to a simulated attack, and successfully allowed participating agencies to refine plans, policies, and procedures. Along with similar exercises for the Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles, this exercise was considered an enormous success and generated substantial media interest.