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.

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”.

Godiva Festival

The Godiva music festival itself is an event provided by Coventry Council and has been running for the last 15 years. The year of 2014 saw record attendances, with 125,000 park visits made over the course of the three-day event, with a peak attendance of 20,000 at 10pm on the 5th July – when headline act Happy Mondays performed.

In that year, Stadium was responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of the festival site’s vehicle traffic, which flows into and out of the site via a one-way traffic management system.

As part of achieving this aim, we were responsible for enacting council-approved temporary road closures on public highways as part of a wider traffic management plan. We worked alongside key providers such as the police, emergency services and council representatives in order to implement the plan smoothly and with minimal disruption.

Our remit included ensuring over 3,000 cars were parked in an orderly fashion in the designated car park field – and could egress from the park in an efficient and safe manner. The event was a complete success, on this and every other metric!

Following the event, the senior Stadium team met with Coventry City Council’s Events Production Manager for a debriefing in which we provided detailed feedback on the overall operation. Here we highlighted areas that could be improved and suggested innovative solutions that could possibly be implemented for the following annual event. This is part of the way in which we add value to our service – and ensure that every future event is as safe or even safer than the one before it.

In 2019, we deployed temporary hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) barriers in four locations to secure the perimeter of the Memorial Park, Coventry from vehicle ramming attacks.

The HVM barriers were manned to allow swift access to emergency vehicles, utility vehicles, staff and entertainers.