For over a year the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the events sector. With indoor spaces closed and restrictions on meeting in large groups, it has been a huge hit for the industry.
So far the UK Government’s roadmap out of lockdown has been accurate in its predicted dates. This means we can assume that come June 21st these larger events and venues will be able to reopen. A huge sigh of relief for those within the industry as well as everyone else.
Unfortunately, this is not all good news. As we begin to meet in large groups again the risk of targeted attacks will increase, and recent news has shown that it is much easier to get into some of our largest venues than it should be.
The past few years have seen stadiums and arenas become key targets for terror attacks due to their high footfall as well as the profile of the events themselves. In 2017 the UK saw a devastating attack in Manchester Arena which highlighted the vulnerability and risk around large events and venues. In 2016, a football stadium in Istanbul was hit by two simultaneous bombings and in 2015 we saw co-ordinated terror attacks on the national football stadium as well as a concert venue in paris.
With the knowledge that stadiums and venues are high risk for attack, why are we not ensuring that they are secure?
Old Trafford Football Stadium is the largest club stadium in the UK with a capacity of 74,140 seats. As we have seen in recent news fans have been able to storm the stadium to protest the European Super League. Several hundred fans stormed the pitch leaving two officers injured.
Fans gained access to the pitch by breaking through barriers and security on the forecourt, some protesters climbed the gates at the end of the Munich tunnel, then forced access to a side door in the stand, before opening an external door that let others through.
This was a failure of physical security in such a large capacity stadium. All venue owners need to be focusing on event security.
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