Darceline Azor

In the realm of sports and entertainment, where the joy of the game unites fans from all corners of the world, the unthinkable occasionally casts a shadow over the euphoria. This was the case on Friday night, August 25, when two women were injured by a gunshot during a game. Reports indicate that the firearm was likely smuggled into the venue by one of the victims herself. Although the shooting was deemed "an accidental discharge", this event serves as a stark reminder of the pressing need for enhanced security measures at sports venues across the nation.

In this blog post, we delve into physical security considerations in the stadium environment to mitigate the threat of active shooters and IEDs.


Closing the Reactionary Gap

In the event of terror or active shooter incidents, rapid response is critical. Up to a 15-minute reactionary gap can exist between the initial 911 call and law enforcement's arrival. This can lead to unnecessary loss of life. Uniformed armed operatives, trained in active shooter mitigation and counterterrorism, are uniquely positioned for swift response. They confront threats, aid in civilian evacuation and coordinate with arriving law enforcement.


Emergency Response Planning

With the growing threat of terrorism and active shooter events, every sports and entertainment venue must create, test and practice a tailored emergency response plan. Venue-specific vulnerabilities specific to layout, location and other variables, require customized plans. Experienced security consultants bring fresh perspectives and expertise to support plan development, training and implementation, collaborating with security personnel.


Firearm Detection Canines

The alarming reality is that firearms can be covertly carried into sports venues, absent of proper firearms detection solutions, posing a significant threat. Enhanced security measures to address the rise in active shooter incidents include the utilization of firearm detection canines. Gun sniffing dogs are an effective measure to proactively identify and prevent such risks, ensuring the safety of all attendees. MSA’s Firearm Detection Canines (FDCs) possess an exceptional sense of smell, enabling them to detect even concealed firearms and explosives that might elude conventional security measures. In an era where safety concerns are paramount, firearm detection canine teams on-site add an extra layer of protection for athletes, spectators and staff. Their unobtrusive presence not only deters potential threats but also provides peace of mind to those attending sporting events. 


Explosive Detection Canines

While sports venues often utilize substantial perimeter security at their entrances, the threat extends to the surrounding areas, requiring a secondary security perimeter. One of the most likely threats is a person-borne improvised explosive device (IED). We’ve seen this threat time and again in notorious attacks, such as the Manchester Arena and Stade-de-France bombings. MSA’s Explosive Detection Canines (EDCs) are highly effective tools for securing this secondary perimeter. These specially trained bomb dogs can detect explosive odors in crowds, making it difficult for individuals carrying or wearing explosive devices to get close to or inside the venue. Qualified and proven explosive detection canine teams within the stadium environment help significantly decrease the risk of loss of life and facility damage.


Comprehensive X-ray Screening

Dynamic X-ray screening solutions, whether for packages in the mailroom or deliveries at loading docks, are vital to battling the CBRNE (chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear and explosive) threat. Highly skilled and seasoned X-ray screeners play a crucial role in ensuring effective detection. An ever-evolving threat presentation spectrum can present challenges for today’s screeners. This not only increases the risk of liability but can also result in unwarranted evacuations or, in the worst-case scenario, mishandling a genuine IED threat. Access to certified bomb technicians at scale and in real-time with MSA's SmartTech® helps reduce risk and build screener confidence while supporting proper identification of prevalent IED threats.


Hostile Surveillance Specialists

Counter-surveillance operatives within the sports stadium environment offer significant benefits within a layered security model. MSA Security’s hostile surveillance specialists possess unique technical abilities and backgrounds, serving as a force multiplier against acts of violence. They discreetly blend into crowds, making them unidentifiable as security personnel to potential hostile actors. These operatives can identify suspicious activities, vulnerabilities in security patterns and more. They can aid security officers in identifying unusual behavior, act as liaisons to local law enforcement and engage threats with the appropriate level of force to protect life and property, in accordance with the venue's security requirements.


Today’s threat spectrum is rapidly evolving. Physical security measures must be included within a robust and effective security plan of every sports stadium environment. To schedule a one-on-one consultation with an MSA subject matter expert, email info@msasecurity.net.

Subscribe to Blog