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 – Lord’s

There are few cricket grounds in the world as iconic as Lord’s.  It first opened in 1814 and has been the home to international cricket since 1884.

The ICC Cricket World Cup is organised by the sport’s governing body – the International Cricket Council (ICC) – every four years and the 2019 tournament was hosted by England and Wales at Lord’s in London.

Lord’s hosted five group fixtures before staging the World Cup final on 14 July 2019.

Lord’s Cricket Ground is located in St John’s Wood, a busy and built up district in the City of Westminster and has a responsibility to keep its visitors and local residents safe.

Between May and August 2019, Stadium deployed ATG Access Surface Guard in two locations immediately outside the iconic ground. Both sets of HVM barriers were installed with vehicle access points and manned by experienced HVM teams.

Jon Williams, Head of Security at Lord’s said “In 2019, we worked with Stadium for the first time to provide a Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) rental solution at Lord’s Cricket Ground for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and the England v Australia Test match.

“Stadium provided us with temporary HVM barriers at two locations for all five events for perimeter security and crowd protection from potential vehicle ramming attacks.  Both barriers were manned which allowed access to emergency and VIP vehicles and service providers in approximately 30 seconds.

‘The HVM teams also provided excellent customer service to fans and visitors by providing help with directions to the ticket office and on-site facilities as well as general enquiries from the local community”.

Fever Tree Championships

Each year, the Fever-Tree Championships at the Queen’s Club, West Kensington, London, sets the stage for one of the largest and most well-known Tennis Opens in the world: Wimbledon. Each year the event grows, and with that the responsibility to keep its visitors safe increases, too.

In June 2018 and 2019, Stadium completed a week’s deployment of the ATG Access Surface Guard at The Fever Tree Championship. The Surface Guard was deployed in four locations and covers sixty metres: surrounding the Club’s two main entrances, and at two further, particularly vulnerable, areas of crowded space.

Within the four deployments, we installed two vehicle access points – which allowed residents, tournament vehicles, deliveries and emergency vehicles to make their way through with authorisation. Our barrier team-members remained with the equipment at all times in order to enforce compliance, and those stationed at vehicle access points were in radio contact with tournament operators.

Today, the risk of vehicle attacks is widely prevalent and poses a high threat and therefore it is imperative for the Tournament, based at the heart of Baron’s Court in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, to use temporary HVM solutions. The Queens Club’s location, which is set within a residential area, is very open and vulnerable – and the high profile of the event creates a risk.

The barriers not only enhanced the security of the event, but also positively impacted residents living within the secured area. During prior events, traffic managed to travel down the roads and around the venue, affecting the residents’ parking options and disrupting crowd movement. With the barriers in place, cars and critical infrastructure were protected, and the road became pedestrianised.

Our traffic management services and CSAS (Community Safety Accreditation Scheme) Operatives ensure traffic disruption is kept to a minimum, visitors are directed swiftly and securely to the venue, and residents are happy.

For instance, Bill Howell, a Baron’s Court resident, told us: “I am pleased to say that, during the whole of the Fever-Tree tennis tournament at Queens 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 Rd, with amicable exchanges and procedures discussed in dept”.

BBC Biggest Weekend

BBC’s The Biggest Weekend 2018 was one of Coventry’s largest music events to date. Held on the May Bank Holiday Weekend and also taking place in three other cities simultaneously. Each city was designated a BBC radio station that would broadcast live from its event; Coventry’s were BBC Radio Two and BBC Radio Three. Headline acts consisted of Paloma Faith, Snow Patrol and Liam Gallagher. Across the event’s two days, over 40,000 persons entered the event.

Stadium has long provided services to Coventry’s Godiva Festival, a red-letter day in the city’s cultural calendar. This long-term relationship naturally expanded when the BBC Big Weekend came to town: our trusted event services were called upon for this even bigger event, and we delivered a bespoke, carefully planned strategy unique to the festival’s specific needs.

In addition to HVM solution hire and installation for the event,  we also provided car park and Park & Ride management from the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Whitley site. The Park & Ride from the JLR site required a number of site visits to ensure efficiency wasn’t compromised and the accessibility to the site remained intact and easy to follow for those attending. The operation went smoothly and was a great success.

Before and during the overnights of the event, there was heavy rainfall. In this challenging context, the car parks were managed effectively by our experienced teams, ensuring that areas where the ground was exceedingly waterlogged were avoided, yet space continued to be managed effectively.

Our HVM solutions for the event were the ATG Access Surface Guard and the Rosehill Security Rapid Defender. The two deployments permitted a high density of pedestrians to enter the event and yet secured the entrance completely. Overall, the barriers were deployed in four locations across the park. The Surface Guard was present at all four deployments, with the Rapid Defender present at the main entrance adjacent to the Surface Guard to ensure the entire entrance was covered.

Our complete solution for the The Biggest Weekend contributed significantly to the event’s huge success – and, importantly, to the safety of every attendee.

Burnley FC

Match Day services

On match days at Burnley, Stadium supplies around 100 staff. Our traffic management arm are responsible for implementing the Match-Day Traffic Management Plan at Turf Moor, operating the necessary road closures and directing vehicles along diversion routes or to the assigned car park. The car parks at Turf Moor are in turn operated by our Car Park stewarding team who will supervise the organisation of the vehicles parked.

Our Crowd Management arm, meanwhile, provides the stewards responsible for ensuring crowd safety and providing customer services for spectators seated in the stadium.

Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) Barriers

We install and provide our HVM Barriers on match days. Thanks to our expert team, Burnley is the first football club to use the unique ATG Access Surface Guard Barrier System – an innovative step forward in crowd safety and protection.

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.