How Venue Safety and Security Teams Keep Us Safe at Mass Gatherings

In 2020, we saw stadiums, arenas, concert halls, and convention centers go dark. While some facilities transformed to care centers and vaccination sites, others started planning for fans to return under new COVID guidelines. Not only do these large event spaces need to take into account man-made or natural crisis situations, now they must plan for a safe and healthy return of guests. So much goes on behind the scenes to make sure your trip to the ballpark is not only enjoyable but safe. In this episode, we talk with James DeMeo, founder of Unified Sports & Entertainment Security Consulting. DeMeo, who consulted on the opening of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, shares with us what you don’t see behind the scenes.

What are the 5 biggest security issues that the sports industry is facing right now?

James DeMeo: First and foremost, COVID-19. It’s the worst infectious disease outbreak in 100 years. There are enormous health and safety implications for fans transitioning back into venues.

Number two is the threat of terrorism: domestic, international, and lone wolf.

Three, active assailant and the overall insider threat.

Four, a laundry list of inclement and severe weather, such as forest fires on the U.S. West Coast and hurricanes in the southeast.

Fifth, the technological and cyber threats, such as ransomware, phishing, malware, attacks that could potentially take over a facilities infrastructure.

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