Modern day stadium security must be uncompromising and ever-evolving. Protecting fans, players, staff and venue requires a robust security posture. Organizations must recognize vulnerabilities and combat growing risk. How is that best accomplished? There are a multitude of initiatives that can and should be utilized, however the first step is to identify the vulnerabilities that exist in a specific and unique stadium environment. This is done most successfully through an independent and comprehensive vulnerability assessment.
Working a stadium each day can make certain vulnerabilities seem invisible. It is critical to get a fresh perspective from an independent consultant with risk assessment experience. The right vulnerability assessment will examine all areas of the stadium including vehicle screening, gate access control, credentialing, emergency planning, integrated operations, communications devices, employee screening, delivery documentation and more.
The goal of any comprehensive assessment is to identify security gaps, no matter how small, and outline recommended strategies to close those gaps. Based on a risk equation, the threat assessment will identify the likelihood of an attack, the types of attacks and their potential impacts. Working backwards from the likeliest attack allows the organization an opportunity to address the critical areas first, assuming it is not able to fully prepare for every eventuality.
An organization’s security is only as good as its weakest link. A weak link can exist anywhere. Threats are constantly evolving, so a weak link today may not have existed yesterday. This makes the frequency and regularity of a threat assessment incredibly important. An initial threat assessment will establish a baseline of understanding on vulnerabilities and required mitigation steps. However, even for organizations with a robust security program in place, threat assessments are recommended at least annually. Following the baseline, subsequent assessments can be performed by an independent contractor – or, with the right internal personnel and training, a self-assessment is effective at identifying new or changing gaps.
From today’s security standpoint, the best sports organizations are active, rigorous and vigilant on security. They are committed to recurrent assessments and improved security processes consistently applied across all venues within a given league or collegiate conference. Staying ahead of emerging threats with a strong security program is truly non-negotiable – doing so requires keen insight as to just where evolving vulnerabilities lie and how best to address them.