British NFL fans kept safe by Stadium

Fans attending NFL games in London over the past two years have been kept safe thanks to Stadium’s security services and HVM barriers.

The fixtures had been held solely at Wembley since the NFL started hosting matches in the UK but, in 2019, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was added as a new venue for certain matches.

This meant Stadium had to come up with a new strategy to help keep fans safe as they travelled to and from the two very different stadiums when the games were held in October and November.

 

The Challenge

Although Stadium had deployed HVM barriers at Wembley before, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium presented a new challenge for the firm.

While Wembley features wide walkways leading up to the stadium, Tottenham’s new ground is located in the middle of narrow residential streets, meaning HVM deployment and crowd control had to be addressed differently for the two stadiums.

Stadium had to assess the road network and the pattern of crowd movement in and around Tottenham’s ground, and work out which roads had to be protected with HVM barriers.

And although Stadium had managed crowds at Wembley before, this did not mean Stadium could simply do what they did the year before.

Stadium needed to reassess their strategy for Wembley to make sure it was still providing the best possible protection for fans on matchdays.

 

The Work

After analysing the roads and the movement of crowds to and from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the firm decided to deploy HVM barriers at four strategic locations for both matches.

And for the two games at Wembley, Stadium deployed barriers at three locations around the perimeter of the ground.

The barriers were put up in the morning before the matches began, and were taken down once all the fans had completely dispersed from the two stadiums.

Each barrier was manned by Stadium staff to ensure steady crowd flow was maintained before and after each game.

 

The Results

More than 120,000 fans attended the two matches held at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium while more than 168,000 watched the two matches at Wembley.

The barriers and Stadium’s presence ensured all the fans were able to walk to and from both grounds as efficiently as possible, making their experience of the matchday as a whole much more enjoyable.

Fans, especially those attending matches at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, would sometimes approach security staff manning the barriers asking them what they were for.

It was explained to them that the barriers were used to prevent vehicle ramming attacks while also allowing fans to pass through easily.

Many of the fans who asked were very pleased that the event organiser for NFL had decided to invest in such measures.

Ultimately, the barriers did their job for all four matches – no incidents were recorded and fans were able to arrive at and depart from the two grounds with ease.

Merseyrail – customer service to help train passengers

Stadium began working with railway franchise Merseyrail in December 2018, which was the first time the firm had ever provided its services to the railway industry.

Merseyrail needed to make vital improvements to its platforms at its many stations in and around Liverpool, but the franchise knew its work would disrupt passengers’ journeys.

The changes to the regular timetable would inevitably mean a high number of passengers would have questions about what trains they could catch and if replacement buses were available.

The Challenge

To cope with this, Merseyrail hired Stadium to provide stewards with strong customer service skills to help guide passengers. Stadium’s staff needed to provide Merseyrail’s customers with a smooth travelling experience despite the platform upgrades heavily disrupting the franchise’s normal service.

Its stewards were engaged at more than 60 of Merseyrail’s stations while the construction work took place to explain the reasons for the disruption, inform them about changed timetables, and guide passengers onto the replacement bus services.

Merseyrail knew the work could cause disruption for its passengers, so it needed a firm with an outstanding track record of impeccable customer service alongside experience in stewarding crowds of people.

Stadium already had several hundred members of staff trained in stewarding based in Liverpool and the surrounding areas due to the event services work it provides on home matchdays for Liverpool FC at Anfield, meaning it was well-placed to help Merseyrail.

Stadium was able to quickly deploy its fully-trained and experienced staff in the region to stations very quickly, as there was only a short lead time between Merseyrail signing the contract and Stadium starting work.

The Work

It was important for Stadium’s staff to not only guide passengers to alternative platforms or the correct replacement buses, but also to help with any other queries they might have had and assist them with their onward journeys.

A calm, professional attitude as well as a willingness to go the extra mile for customers were very important to prevent passengers from getting frustrated during the works.

Stadium’s staff regularly helped families with pushchairs, shoppers laden with bags and travellers with heavy suitcases get on and off their trains and buses – ensuring a stress-free travel experience.

The brief to guide passengers and provide the correct information was not enough for Stadium employees – the attitude displayed by staff throughout the period of construction works gave passengers a positive reason to continue catching the train when they may have been tempted to use alternative transport methods.

And Stadium’s knowledge of monitoring the flow and behaviour of crowds was also invaluable to the customers’ experience.

Stadium has great experience of managing large crowds at public events, such as at Premier League football matches and making sure they are safe, when ensuring fans enter and leave the ground efficiently is also very important.

This expertise was put to use at Merseyrail’s stations, and was especially effective at peak times.

A busy station combined with disruption due to engineering works has the potential to create serious problems with crowd flow.

But Stadium’s ability to manage crowds in a safe and efficient manner meant passengers were able to move freely to their trains or replacement buses, making it more likely that onward journeys were stress free.

The Results

Since Stadium’s staff were hired to help Merseyrail, rail passengers have been very impressed with the level of customer service.

One passenger who travels between Moorfields and Liverpool Central nearly every day with his wife and two-year-old child, remarked that Stadium’s service was ‘incredible’ in an email to the firm.

His experience with Stadium’s staff during their journeys kept him and his family coming back.

In his email, he details how Stadium staff helped load his child’s pram onto the train at Moorfields, before more staff at Liverpool Central consistently helped him with his bags and pram up and down the station’s escalators.

He went on to say: “Your staff have been incredible to us so far and no doubt to many other passengers. Excellent customer service. Thank you.”

Stadium has received many other emails praising their customer service from grateful passengers, and Merseyrail has continued to use Stadium’s services due to how successful they have been.

Testimonial

Stephen Bradley, Head of Stations at Merseyrail, said: “We knew our works to improve platforms at our stations could cause disruption to our passengers, so we needed a company who really knew what it was doing to help guide travellers to the right trains or replacement bus services, as well as helping control crowds at busy times.

“Stadium’s past experience in stewarding made it an excellent fit for us, and we’re delighted with the service it has provided to our customers since we hired the firm last December.

“Not only has its staff fulfilled the brief perfectly, they have gone above and beyond to help passengers, such as by helping families with pushchairs get on and off their trains, as well as up and down escalators.

“It is this high level of customer service that keeps travellers coming back, and we would recommend Stadium to other rail franchises undertaking major works.”

ICC Cricket World Cup – Fan safety at Lord’s

In 2019, Stadium helped protect fans at the iconic ‘Home of Cricket’ – Lord’s – at five key matches during the summer.

Stadium was tasked with providing hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) barriers during four matches in the Cricket World Cup, and the Second Test of the 2019 Ashes between England and Australia.

Stadium has great experience in providing HVM barriers at football matches for many large teams in the UK, as well as at public events such as music festivals and Christmas markets.

However, this was the first time Stadium had deployed its barriers at a cricket ground, which presented a new set of challenges for the firm.

The Challenge

Lord’s Cricket Ground is located in a residential area in Central London, meaning it was very important to work with the needs of local people.

Stadium’s staff had to make sure all fans entering and exiting the ground were kept safe through their HVM barriers, while also ensuring they got in and out as quickly as possible to minimise disruption to those living and working in the area.

There were also challenges relating to the two different styles of matches Stadium was hired to cover.

The Cricket World Cup fixtures were all one-day games, which meant Stadium simply had to make sure everything went right for one day.

But the Ashes fixture – a traditional Test match – ended up lasting for five days, which meant Stadium had to make sure there were enough staff members to cover the five days and to stay vigilant throughout.

Both the Cricket World Cup and The Ashes attracted fans who are not originally from the UK, let alone London.

This meant Stadium’s stewards also needed to have excellent local knowledge about where the nearest Tube stations were, key locations within Lord’s such as the ticket office, and other important information.

The Work

Stadium worked directly with Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), who run Lord’s Cricket Ground, to make sure they understood where the chokepoints for people and vehicles were likely to be before, during and after the matches, and therefore where the best places to deploy HVM barriers would be.

After their discussions, Stadium deployed ATG Access Surface Guard barriers at two key strategic points for both matches to allow crowds to flow and provide access to authorised vehicles only.

These were installed on the two roads adjacent to Lord’s cricket ground and both deployments were manned by experienced Stadium staff during each match.

Stadium’s staff also provided help to fans who needed directions to their seats at Lord’s, or to the nearest bus stops and Tube stations when they were leaving the ground.

When the matches had finished, Stadium were able to disassemble the barriers very quickly and pack them away, meaning residents living near the ground were able to get back to normality.

The Results

MCC were very pleased with the fans’ experience at each Cricket World Cup match and the Ashes fixture thanks to Stadium’s professionalism before and during the matches.

Fans were kept safe during every game, and were able to enter and exit the ground smoothly thanks to Stadium’s staff giving them clear guidance.

The barriers made sure no unauthorised vehicles were able to access the perimeter around the ground, and when required, were easily opened up to allow access to authorised vehicles.

And local people were satisfied with the low level of disruption despite the large number of fans attending each fixture.

Fever Tree Championships

The Fever Tree Championships is an annual professional men’s tennis tournament held at Queen’s in West Kensington, and acts as a warm-up for Wimbledon.

This means it regularly attracts many of the world’s best players, who are looking to get used to grass courts before playing at SW19.

In turn, thousands of fans flock to Queen’s to see the players in action, and therefore a high level of security is needed to keep them safe and ensure they have a good time.

Stadium was originally hired by organisers in 2018 to provide services for the tournament, and because of their success, they were hired again in 2019.

 

The Challenge

The Fever Tree Championships is a week-long tournament with play happening all day, and as such requires a comprehensive security plan to ensure everyone is kept safe.

It is located right in the middle of a residential area in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, meaning the area is more difficult to secure than sports venues located out-of-town.

It also means residents who are going about their daily lives need to have disruption kept to a minimum while also ensuring fans and players can access the club easily.

Finally, the number of high-profile vehicle ramming attacks towards the end of the 2010s meant Stadium had to make sure Queen’s was safe from this threat.

 

The Work

After assessing Queen’s Club and the roads around it, Stadium decided to deploy hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) barriers at four locations – two at the main entrances to the club, and two at areas of particularly crowded spaces.

Because residents lived within the contained area, their roads effectively became pedestrianised and free of cars inconsiderately parking by their homes.

Within those four deployments, Stadium made sure to have vehicle access points, which allowed authorised vehicles such as emergency vehicles, residents, and tournament staff through.

Stadium’s operatives stayed at the access points at all times to enforce compliance, and were in regular radio contact with tournament organisers to update them on any problems that may have arisen.

Stadium also devised a traffic management plan to ensure congestion was kept to a minimum, and visitors are directed swiftly to the club to enjoy the tournament.

When the tournament finished, Stadium took down the temporary barriers very quickly, meaning residents could get back to normal as soon as possible.

 

The Results

All fans attending the 2018 edition of the Fever Tree Championships were able to have a great time thanks to Stadium’s effective security measures and traffic management plan.

Residents living in close proximity to Queen’s also had a much better time than usual, thanks to Stadium preventing vehicles from driving down, and therefore parking, on their streets.

The tournament ran smoothly all week, which meant Stadium was retained by organisers to provide its services again for the following tournament in 2019.

 

Testimonial

Bill Howell, a Baron’s Court resident, said: “I am pleased to say that, during the whole of the Fever-Tree tennis tournament at Queen’s Club, it was pleasing to note that the team from Stadium – who were responsible for erecting and dismantling the HVM barriers – took the time to consider the residents in Perham Road, with amicable exchanges and procedures discussed in depth.

“As I live practically on top of where the barriers were located by the main entrance, I was impressed after the initial assembly that the disturbance was kept to a minimum – bearing in mind that many sections of the barriers are heavy-duty steel.

“If this company continues to attend these events with this level of consideration and efficiency, it bodes well for both the residents and Queen’s Club in the future.”

BBC Biggest Weekend, War Memorial Park, Coventry

In 2018, Stadium helped keep fans safe at one of the largest music events ever to come to Coventry – BBC The Biggest Weekend.

Stadium was tasked with providing and installing hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) barriers to protect fans attending the two-day festival at War Memorial Park, where the annual Godiva Festival is also held.

Stadium had already been hired by Coventry City Council to provide HVM barriers at previous Godiva Festivals, and its success meant the firm’s services were called upon once again.

 

The Challenge

BBC’s The Biggest Weekend saw a variety of acts play at different locations across the UK. War Memorial Park hosted a Radio 2 event on Sunday May 27, and a Radio 3 event on Monday May 28.

More than 40,000 people headed to the park across the two days due to big names like Liam Gallagher, Snow Patrol and Paloma Faith all performing.

This meant Stadium not only had to make sure all these fans were protected from harm by effective use of temporary HVM barriers, but also had to make sure they entered and exited the park safely and efficiently.

The firm also had to make sure fans using the Park & Ride service at Jaguar Land Rover’s Whitley site had a smooth experience.

An additional challenge came from heavy rainfall the night before, which meant areas of the car park were waterlogged and would have to be avoided by drivers.

 

The Work

Stadium worked with Coventry City Council and the BBC to come up with a bespoke strategy to ensure fans were kept safe and also had a good time.

At the car park, Stadium’s experienced staff visited the site over several times both in advance of the event and on the weekend. This was done to ensure the accessibility to the site was uncompromised and no significant queues formed upon entry or exit.

Staff also ensured cars parking at the site avoided the waterlogged areas caused by the previous rainfall.

After discussing the needs of the festival and the site’s potential chokepoints, Stadium deployed ATG Access Surface Guard at three locations around the park and additional Rosehill Security Rapid Defender barriers at the much wider main entrance.

This allowed a high density of attendees to enter and exit the site at any given time, but also secured the entrances completely from hostile vehicles.

The combination of ATG Access Surface Guard and Rosehill Security Rapid Defender was needed at the main entrance due to its width.

When the event finished on Monday, Stadium’s staff were able to remove the barriers very quickly. This meant War Memorial Park was soon ready to be used as normal once again.

 

The Results

Both the Sunday and the Monday went very smoothly for fans. The Park and Ride service at Whitley ran well thanks to Stadium’s extensive preparation and regular monitoring over the two days.

Despite the high number of fans attending, all were able to enter the park and depart very efficiently and safely thanks to the HVM barriers chosen and Stadium’s staff making sure the crowds kept moving.

And although the potential for disruption was high, Stadium’s experience in working at these kinds of events meant it was kept to an absolute minimum.

Burnley FC

Stadium has been working with Premier League football club Burnley F.C since the company was founded as StadiumTM in 2009.

The company is the primary provider of crowd management and traffic management requirements for the club at the Claret’s home stadium Turf Moor.

Stadium’s traffic management services were first put to the test in a friendly against Leeds United in August 2009 and the company has since added the deployment of Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) barriers.

Services are also provided inside the stadium, ensuring crowd safety and providing customer services for spectators enjoying the match.

The Challenge

The Clarets’ home stadium Turf Moor regularly attracts more than 20,000 fans when it hosts a fixture, and it is important that fans have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Stadium’s team had to provide a viable traffic management solution to ensure fan safety and smooth flowing traffic around the stadium on every match day.

Turf Moor is situated just outside of the town centre in Burnley, in a built-up area and the stadium is surrounded by tight terraced streets.

This makes traffic management even more of a complex issue, in comparison to modern football stadia built in vast, wide open spaces.

These tight streets also make parking around the stadium difficult, which enhances the importance of being able to provide clear directions to official car parks and ensure safe parking practice on arrival.

To add to the challenges of the built-up environment around the ground, football fans can also be unpredictable on a match-day and will abandon pavements and walk on the roads.

Football matches are also high-risk events, with thousands of people on the streets at one time, who will need to be protected in the event of a car ramming attack.

Once inside the stadium, the range of challenges continue, with crowd safety taking precedence, whilst still protecting the fan experience.

The Work

It was key that on match day’s Stadium’s impact was effective but not disruptive to the experience of fans – some of whom will have travelled from around the country to attend.

Stadium deploys more than 100 of its fully-trained and experienced staff around Turf Moor on a match-day.

The traffic management team are responsible for the implementation of a match-day traffic management plan at the stadium.

This includes operating key road closures in the streets around the ground and ensuring that vehicles are directed to follow key diversion routes. Not all traffic going around Turf Moor on a match-day is heading towards the event.

The diversion routes operated are designated to provide the quickest, and safest, passage for traffic looking to head out of Burnley town centre.

By providing a joined-up approach around Turf Moor, Stadium staff direct traffic and operate the car parks. This approach ensures that traffic reaches the destination safely and is managed from end-to-end by experienced staff.

On arrival at the car parks, the car park stewarding team supervise the organisation of the vehicles which are looking to park.

To ease traffic flowing from the match, vehicles are required to be organised in a fashion where they can smoothly leave the car park with minimal difficulty.

Stadium stewards monitor and operate all of the turnstiles at Turf Moor, ensuring safe entry and a steady flow of fans into the venue. Stadium’s staff are trained in customer service care and place an emphasis on ensuring these measures do not impact the fan experience.

The match-day offer from Stadium has expanded from traffic management to the introduction of Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) barriers to protect fans.

When first implemented in 2017, 38 metres of barriers were installed around the stadium.

The innovative barrier system allows pedestrians, emergency vehicles, VIP’s and suppliers to pass through safely which ensures a safe experience for all spectators and local residents.

The Results

Stadium has now been working with Burnley FC on match-days for more than a decade, which is testament to the effective work carried out by the company’s experienced staff.

The introduction of the HVM barriers set Burnley FC as a trailblazing club, becoming the first team to use the unique ATG Access Surface Guard barriers.

The innovative barrier system allows pedestrians to pass through safely, can be dropped in less than 30 seconds to enable vehicle access and are accessible for wheelchair users.

Glasgow Commonwealth Games

The 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games was a wonderful event – and a banner moment for the city itself. Stadium provided key security and crowd management services across three venues during the Games, acting as an official supplier.

There was just a three-month period between the award of contract and operations going live. Prior to this, however, Stadium had established a strong understanding between the organising committee and our management team – and this enabled a thorough apprehension of service requirements at each venue.

We provided stewarding and security services to the Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow, the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre in Dundee and the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh. We deployed security personnel for CCTV and response steward roles in each venue.

Operational planning involved regular meetings with the leads of each of our operations teams, in which we assessed staffing requirements and which profiles would be most suitable to fulfilling any required roles. This helped ensure the highest level of service was provided. Understanding the profiles of each of our staff required an appreciation of their experience, skill-set and character. This was especially important for placing staff in leadership roles, since it was essential – of course – that they had the necessary leadership qualities.

In this way, Stadium places great importance on the planning process, in order to integrate all client requirements into operational activity. Great emphasis is also placed throughout implementation phases, however, on the teams’ requirement to be fully flexible throughout all event operations. In this sense our planning is flexible as well as robust.

Each of the 150 deployed staff-members required logistics planning, accommodation, catering, welfare and uniform throughout the two-week event. This required the following functions to be performed by the head office team of Stadium;

  • Maintenance of Staffing Databases
  • Client Relationships
  • Regular Team Meetings
  • Risk Analysis and Staff Vetting
  • Stadium Training – SIA, Spectator Safety NVQ Level 2, Employability, Customer Service, Health and Safety NVQ Level 2, First Aid, Fire Marshalls, Event Role Play

Stadium prioritises maintaining the operation’s integrity at all costs. During the event itself, we reacted within stringent timeframes to alleviate operational queries, issues and dealt with any staffing requirements on a daily basis. Throughout the Games, we held a contingency of staff to mitigate issues of staff retention on-site. This helped to ensure the operation’s integrity was not compromised at any point and continued to run smoothly.

We ensured contingency levels continued to be maintained through transporting and deploying further staff to operational bases wherever numbers needed to be “topped up”. Stadium operational management staff boast extensive experience – and, thanks to our Stadium Training arm, all operational personnel are fit with a flexible range and level of skills and qualifications that can fit a variety of contexts and needs within the event industry.

In other words, we took the Games as seriously as Glasgow itself did – and that’s a commitment we make to every client.