Sports ground safety in challenging times
In line with the Council of Europe convention we helped to develop, the SGSA bases its advice on three central tenets: safety, security and service.
Safety: The importance of overlay around a sports ground can sometimes impact upon the safe arrival, circulation and egress of spectators. It’s important that considerations are given when planning any security measures to ensure that safety isn’t compromised.
Security: At times there is a need to consider additional security overlays to manage risks at an event, whether it’s enhanced screening/searching, vehicle barriers, etc. At the same time, consideration must also be given to understanding the unintended consequences of these, for examples increased queues and delayed entry into a sports ground.
Service: The need to balance safety and security against customer experience remembering this should be an enjoyable sporting event is critical. Fans attend a sports ground to watch and enjoy the spectacle. Engaging with spectators early on can help to reduce some of the unintended consequences of increased security. Whilst technology has its part to play, we should never lose sight of the important role of venue staff can play in overall safety equation. The most important asset a sports ground has in terms of safety is the staff. Effective and vigilant staff, who provide excellent customer service to those attending an event are a critical element to a safe, enjoyable experience for fans.
There is a risk attached to every event. The only completely safe stadium is an empty one. But there are ways to manage and mitigate risk effectively to create as safe an environment for fans as possible.
The SGSA has been around a long time and in that time has built up a vast understanding of safety issues, however we are careful not to rest on laurels and recognise that the moment we close our minds to what is happening out there is the time we become complacent. We must, and will, always guard against complacency in safety.