Page 34 - Security Today, July/August 2020
P. 34

An Entertainment District The expanding role of sports arenas’ security
By Mark McCormack
Remember classic stadiums like Wrigley Field, Chicago’s old baseball park, or Forbes Field, the old baseball and football park in Pittsburgh? On game day, fans were throwing tailgate parties in the park- ing lot, then heading into the stadium to cheer on their teams. Once the game was over and fans left the park, security locked
up and the venue went dark until the next home game.
Those venues represent a bygone era. Today’s arenas have become an entertain- ment district designed to not only capital- ize on game day crowds but draw traffic seven days a week to adjacent bars, restau- rants, concerts and other attractions both in and around the stadium.
This transformation has dramatically changed the role of venue security teams. Before, staff was only responsible for the safety and protection of the stadium, the fans and the players during the sporting event. Now the job is 24/7 and their sphere of responsibility often encompasses the entire surrounding entertainment district.

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