Security is needed wherever there are gatherings of large groups of people. Each week, thousands of excited fans travel to watches football matches and those that regulate the sport want those fans to remain as safe as possible. Stadium safety is clearly good for business and here are some of the ways that can be achieved:
- Stairs are always a primary cause for accidents in public spaces so anti-slip materials should be used at all edges with clear, visible markings on landings.
- Some people use guardrails or handrails inappropriately and try to sit or stand on them to get a better view. Deter fans from climbing by using smart designs and making them higher than they have to be.
- Exit paths should be properly sized and identified and never blocked. Consider adding more exit paths as waiting can lead to fan frustration and hostility can develop.
- Metal detectors and bag searches should be employed.
- Security guards and stewards should wear a Body Worn Camera to help police identify any offenders and to make troublemakers think twice before causing problems. For more information, visit http://www.pinnacleresponse.com/body-cameras-and-the-law/.
There has been huge concern over stadium safety since the Hillsborough disaster and appalled by events of that tragic day and the terrible state of football safety, not many questioned Margaret Thatcher’s decision to ban standing areas from stadia. This is now a question that divides opinion with some believing there is still a place for some standing areas and that the game has lost it’s atmosphere since standing was banned.
Many state that all-seater stadia are easier to police, safer and more in tune with what modern consumers want. Families started to return to football as a direct result of the changes made after Hillsborough. There was rising attendance, increased profit and a more diverse fan base than ever before. So why do so many fans wish to see a return to standing areas? Feelings are so raw still at Anfield that Liverpool have categorically said they will not bring back standing. Are people over romanticizing the days of the terraces?
The standing ban only applies to clubs in the first two tiers of competitions football. When a club from a lower division is promoted up, they are given two years to convert their stadium into all seated. Many fans are travelling to Germany to take part in what they believe is the genuine football experience. Germany, unlike most of the rest of Europe, resisted the move to all seater stadia and have upgraded their standing sections with ‘rail seats’. These metal seats can be flipped up or down and locked in place giving the option to sit or stand. The seats can be flipped down to meet the regulations of UEFA games.
Therefore, there are now many proponents of ‘safe standing’ who say that these seats are 100% safe and easy to police. Some say that tensions will be eased for those who want to stand but are being told to sit down by stewards. It seems that the worry now is not about safety, as we see fans standing in Europe, the US and in lower leagues but the potential for crowd disorder.