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Students Create Stadium Security Checklist

March 11, 2003

With National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournaments promising capacity crowds this month, stadium security is paramount post 9-11 with war looming. Springfield College (Mass.) students of sport management and recreation recently volunteered to develop a game-day safety checklist.

Students researched stadium security and terrorist tactics and obtained input from: major league football, basketball, hockey and baseball; major college athletic programs; and crowd management experts. Key precautions:
  1. Concrete barriers forming 100-foot security perimeter.
  2. Pre-event lockdown.
  3. No-fly zones over and around venue.
  4. Surveillance cameras.
  5. Crowd observers (one for every 250 spectators, plus in all parking lots).
  6. Undercover surveillance teams with radio communications.
  7. Anti-terrorism squad.
  8. Mobile van with detection equipment for biological, chemical and radioactive substances.
  9. Ventilation systems that can block anthrax and other hazardous substances.
  10. Drug stockpile to counter chemical and biological agents.
  11. Portable decontamination chamber for chemical, biological and radioactive substances.
  12. Evacuation plans.
Some other precautions on the 38-point checklist:
  • Central station coordinating security.
  • Bomb-sniffing dogs.
  • Helicopter patrolled airspace during event.
  • No deliveries starting 90 minutes before game-time.
  • Security personnel on-duty for prior 24 hours.
  • Air quality test prior to lockdown.
  • Media personnel previously security checked and issued holographic identification cards.
  • Critical areas (fields, kitchens, loading docks, communications center, etc.) restricted for unauthorized personnel.
  • Employees background-checked and issued photo identification and zone passes.
  • Clear plastic refuse bags for convenient inspection.
  • Coordination with local and state police.
  • Security personnel escorting private cleaning crews.
  • Regionally accessible supplies of antidotes.
  • Weapons frisk or wand-screen of spectators.
  • Mobile emergency medical vehicle.
  • Backpacks and large carry-ins banned.
  • No venue reentry for spectators.
  • Detection strips for nerve agents, cyanide and other chemicals.
  • Periodic broadcast of security practices and restricted items.
  • Electronically scanned tickets for attendance records of season ticket holders.
Prof. Matthew Pantera said that students created the checklist to gain experience with their sport management lessons in a way to benefit large numbers of people. “It’s real-world application of Springfield College’s century-old philosophy -- educating balanced human beings as tomorrow’s leaders serving humanity.” Next, students will survey NCAA Division I football and basketball programs with the checklist, and will release composite findings this May.

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