Safety & Security: Event Security
- Police Captain Under Review for Altercation with Ref
by Courtney Cameron January 2018
The Wichita (Kan.) Police Department confirmed Tuesday that a man accused of confronting and shoving a 17-year-old female youth basketball referee at a game Saturday is a Wichita police captain, according to USA Today.
- Bank Underwrites Tech's $25K Court-Storming Fine
by Paul Steinbach January 2018
Cory Newsom's trip to United Supermarkets Arena last Saturday turned out to be quite costly, but he wouldn't have it any other way.
Newsom, president and CEO of Lubbock, Texas-based City Bank, announced yesterday that the bank would cover the $25,000 in fines levied against Texas Tech after fans stormed the court to celebrate the Red Raiders' 72-71 win over second-ranked West Virginia. The Big 12 Conference deemed the university's post-game safety protocols insufficient during the post-game chaos, which led to a WVU player striking a Tech fan.
“It was an unfortunate incident that happened, but I think it was for all of the right reasons,” Newsom said, as reported by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “The fan support was there. Watching the fan support was so exciting. We love our university; we love our team. We just felt like this was our chance to stand up and support them."
Newsom described the game-day experience as electric. “While we support Texas Tech in its efforts to make certain game-day operations provide a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone involved, we also understand the outright excitement and spontaneity that a breathtaking victory over a highly ranked team can have on a university’s students," he said. "We see it at universities across the country on a weekly basis. Supporting your team is a big part of the college experience.”
Newsom added that he agrees with the way in which Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt handled the matter, which he feels is the exception and not the rule at Tech events, stating, “We know he has reviewed Saturday’s situation and has made the necessary adjustments to assure that the safety of players, officials and fans will not be compromised."
Hocutt thanked Newsom for his support. “We’re very appreciative of City Bank stepping forward in this generous and supportive way for Texas Tech athletics,” Hocutt said. “It’s sincerely appreciated. I think they’re stepping forward in this particular situation because of the excitement and support Texas Tech basketball has created this season.”
- Harris Reprimanded, Tech Fined After Court Storming
by Paul Steinbach January 2018
The Big 12 Conference on Monday reprimanded both West Virginia forward Wesley Harris and Texas Tech for Saturday's court-storming incident at United Supermarkets Arena.
The Red Raiders' 72-71 victory over the second-ranked Mountaineers prompted fans to pour onto the court from both endlines at the final buzzer. It was the first top-10 win in Lubbock for Tech.
Bumped by fans amid the chaos, Harris spun and hit an individual with his forearm, knocking Brooks Jennings' cap off. Jennings is the son of former Red Raider standout and assistant coach Bubba Jennings. Tech was fined $25,000 for mishandling the post-game environment, as reported by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
"We must ensure that a safe environment is provided for players, coaches, game officials and fans," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. "Although the post-game environment did not live up to our expectations, Mr. Harris intentionally striking a fan is contrary to the conference's sportsmanship standards."
The athletic directors from both schools issued their own statements.
"We admittedly did fail to meet our expectations Saturday in efforts to secure the floor and allow West Virginia to exit without incident," Tech AD Kirby Hocutt said. "We have the utmost confidence in our game-day operations staff, including police and security, to provide a safe environment for everyone at the United Supermarkets Arena. We have a plan to ensure the safety of the teams, officials and fans. This plan has been executed many times in the past without any incidents. We will make the necessary adjustments to continue to ensure that all in attendance have an excellent experience at all of our events."
WVU's Shane Lyons stated, "I want to thank the Big 12 Conference and Texas Tech for the positive and open dialogue all three parties engaged in during the last two days. As I said before, this situation involved court security, player safety and post-game emotions, and all three had to be taken into account. We will revisit with our student-athletes to again reinforce our expectations regarding sportsmanship issues across all sports. The Big 12 has issued its reprimand. We accept it, and I consider the matter closed."
- Hockey Fans Decry Long Lines, Increased Security
by Andy Berg October 2017
In the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, safety is on everyone’s minds. But isn’t there a balance between security and inconvenience?
- Police Investigate Threats Against MSU Sporting Events
by Courtney Cameron October 2017
East Lansing Police Lt. Chad Connelly announced Friday that the department is working with Michigan State University police as well as federal agencies to investigate threats targeting campus sporting events.
- Police Employ Pepper Spray to Disrupt Field Brawl
by Courtney Cameron September 2017
Visiting football team Canyon Springs of North Las Vegas had just won Basic High School's homecoming game, 20-15, Friday night in Henderson, Nev., when a fight broke out between players at midfield.
- Assistant Coach, Ref Engage in Fisticuffs Courtside
by Courtney Cameron September 2017
Youth basketball assistant coach George Edwards III was arrested under charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon Saturday night after a courtside fight broke out between Edwards and referee Travis Williams at the Hive Gym in Oklahoma City.
- Two Dead in Stampede as Fans Enter Soccer Match
by Andy Berg July 2017
A soccer match in South Africa turned deadly over the weekend after a stampede ensued while fans were entering the 87,000-seat FNB stadium in Johannesburg.
The match between the Orlando Pirates and the Kaizer Chiefs was eventually played but not before two people died and 17 people were injured, one critically, when people pushed their way through stadium gates.
Public safety official Michael Sun tweeted sympathies over the fatalities and noted that all the gates to the stadium were open to ensure crowd safety.
ABC News reported that the disruption that caused the crush was the result of people selling fake tickets outside the stadium.
@blacklabelsa CUP STATEMENT: We are saddened by the fatalities this afternoon due to a number of people attempting to push through the gates— Orlando Pirates FC (@Orlando_Pirates) July 29, 2017
The match was eventually played, and the Chiefs won 1-0.
The BBC reports that the Pirates and Chiefs are no strangers to these kinds of accidents. In April of 2001, the two teams saw 43 fans die in a crush during a match at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg. Ten years prior, 42 people died in a stampede between the same two teams at Oppenheimer Stadium in the city of Orkney.
Formerly called Soccer City Stadium, FNB Stadium has a long history. Nelson Mandela gave his famous speech there after being released from prison in 1990. The venue was later rebuilt for the 2010 World Cup and was the site of the final that year between Spain and the Netherlands.
- MLB Mulls Harsher Penalties for Fan Behavior
by Courtney Cameron May 2017
Major League Baseball officials will be entering into a planned discussion to hash out the parameters of potential stadium policy changes meant to check unruly fans.
- Notable Events in the Evolution of Sports Venue Security
by AB Staff May 2017
The emotional zeal that grips fans is a hallmark of sports culture, driving both high-energy celebrations and violent altercations — and everything in between. Fan behavior has always been a top issue for sports security professionals, but as the sports environment has evolved, it's been joined by a host of other threats. The events of 9/11 proved a wakeup call across the country, prompting individual sports venues to take a closer look at their security policies and driving league- and organization-wide reforms.