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Olympic Security 2012

Great Britain is getting ready for the Olympics in 2012.  One of their biggest concerns is anti-terrorism.   The day after they were awarded the games, terrorist attacks on the subway and a bus killed 52 people.   Security costs are estimated to reach $1.3 billion to protect the 14,000 athletes, 100 heads of state, and over 10 million fans.  Approximately 9,000 police officers will work the games, along with numerous high-tech systems to monitor people and facilities.   A special concern is the public transportation system which will be impossible to completely monitor.  Athletes and fans can be better screened, but some venue will be harder to manage such as the sailing venues which are off the southern coast.

NY Mets Case Involving Falling Fan


A judge says the New York Mets have not proven so far (during summary judgment) that there was no way to foresee a fan’s fall onto another spectator at Shea Stadium, so the case is headed toward trial.  This does not mean that the Mets did anything wrong and it will be up to the Plaintiff to prove that the Mets or the concessionaire acted in an unreasonable way.  This means that the Plaintiff will need to show that the Mets and the concessionaire did not live up to a given standard of care or violated industry norms.  I think this would be very hard to do because the Plaintiff will have to show that the Mets, their security providers, and concessionaires knew this individual fan represented a problem and that they did not do anything to prevent this specific harm.  Fans can fall for numerous reasons and defendants are normally not held liable unless there was obvious signs that a fan was misbehaving, violating facility rules, or doing something else so unusual that they should have noticed what was going on.  If a fan is just cheering and they slip and fall, such an incident cannot be stopped and can occur at any facility, at anytime, regardless of whether alcohol is served.

Staples Center Knife Incident


A steak knife-wielding man held police and security guards at bay for nearly an hour at the Staples Center in a bizarre scene that played out just before the Los Angeles Clippers hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 18th. 

The man entered the venue through an employee entrance.  Security officers tried to block him, but the man was brandishing the blade.  The man ran to the arena floor, where he was met by 25 security staffers who surrounded him until police arrived.   It is unknown what the person wanted, but he was talking gibberish and the standoff lasted around one hour before he was arrested when making a move towards a vomitory.

New Rules in England

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority Bill was given an unopposed third reading in the House of Commons last Friday and will now go to the Lords for further deliberation.

If passed through the Lords, it will mean that the Football Licensing Authority (FLA), set up in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster, would for the first time be able to advise on safety at stadiums used for sports other than football under the changes agreed by MPs.

At present the FLA’s role is limited to providing specific advice on spectator and venue safety advice in relation to football stadia only.  

Thus, the best practices that have evolved from football can now be used/applied to other sport facilities.

Here is the link:

Charlie Sheen Night

What does Charlie Sheen have to do with patron management?  Not much unless he is involved in stirring a crowd or an event does an event around Mr. Sheen.  The Bakersfield Condors (minor league hockey team) will host Charlie Sheen Night at their March 12 game. The patrons who dress like any Charlie Sheen TV/movie character will receive a ticket price of $2.50; those who bring a clean drug test receive free admission; the first 1,000 males in attendance will receive a Charlie Sheen mask (on a stick); and there will be 2-for-1 “Tiger Blood Ices” deserts for kids.  It would be interesting to see if there is any violence at the event.

Foul Ball Injures Coach

Luis Salazar, manager for a minor league affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, showed no signs of brain damage, but suffered several facial fractures.  After a line-drive foul ball hit him in the head during an exhibition game at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  Foul balls can be very dangerous to fans and everyone else close to the action.

3/16/11- As a follow-up, the Coach lost his eye.

6/2/11- There was a nice article in Sports Illustrated highlighting how Salazar is making a comeback and how he will be fitted with a prosthetic eye.

Stop Fighting

The following list highlights 21 phrases that can help end an argument:

Please try to understand my point of view.
Wait, can I take that back?
You don’t have to solve this—it helps me just to talk to you.
This is important to me. Please listen.
I overreacted, I’m sorry.
I see you’re in a tough position.
I can see my part in this.
I hadn’t thought of it that way before.
I could be wrong.
Let’s agree to disagree on that.
This isn’t just your problem, it’s our problem.
I’m feeling unappreciated.
We’re getting off the subject.
You’ve convinced me.
Please keep talking to me.
I realize it’s not your fault.
That came out all wrong.
I see how I contributed to the problem.
What are we really fighting about?
How can I make things better?
I’m sorry.
I love you.

From: Gretchen Rubin

21 phrases to use to help you FIGHT RIGHT with your sweetheart

Dealing with Complainers

Patron leaders have to deal with more than just patrons (customers) who complain.  Many workers also complain and such complaints can create a very toxic envrionment.  Managers need to understand this concern and the following suggestions from Ceridian provides suggestiosn to help deal with a complaining worker.

Dealing with chronic complainers
Chronic complainers can be a challenge for managers. Some chronic complainers may find fault with almost any new idea or assignment. Others seem to have a chip on their shoulder. Either way, they can undermine morale and performance. And dealing with them can be especially complex if — apart from their negativity — they are good workers. The following suggestions may help you:

Deal with chronic negativity as soon as you can
You might begin by letting your direct reports know what kind of behavior you expect and value. If you want your team to take a positive approach to challenges, say so, and let them know if this will be a factor in performance evaluations.

Have a private meeting with someone who has a negativity problem
Describe what you’ve observed. Many chronic complainers don’t realize how negative they sound, either because no one has pointed it out or because they feel their complaints are fully justified. Let a complainer know what changes you would like to see.

Let the employee know that you want to hear possible solutions, not just complaints
Make it clear that when anyone on your team has a complaint, you expect to hear constructive ways to deal with the situation. Consider asking chronic complainers to propose up to three possible solutions to any concern they raise not just one. This helps to avoid an “either/or” mindset.

Be honest about what can’t change
It’s part of a manager’s job to offer support to employees who have concerns at work. But be honest about what you can’t change and what someone will have to accept. You may lose the trust of complainers and others if you say you’ll “look into” or “work on” finding a solution to a situation that’s beyond your power to influence.

Take a managerial approach
Avoid trying to change the complainer’s personality or overall view of life. It isn’t your job to make your employees happy. It’s your job to support their work.

Avoid taking the negativity personally
Some people are naturally cheerful and upbeat, while others tend to be negative and critical. Both types of employees would probably show those traits with any manager. Whether someone sees the glass as “half empty” or “half full” has little to do with you.

Follow up
Monitor the individual’s behavior. If you do not see evidence of positive changes — fewer complaints, a more positive approach at work — contact human resources for help.

Watch for legal issues
Some concerns, such as complaints about bullying or harassment, physical discomfort on the job, and anything that suggests an employee feels his rights aren’t being respected, always require a response from management after consultation with HR.

It’s important to deal effectively with employee complaints and chronic complainers in order to build a more positive, high-performing team.

Crowd Surge at Soccer Game

The following YouTube link highlights footage posted by an unknown person showing a crowd collapse/surge and a subsequent pitch-side barrier failure at a match between Villarreal v Hamsik on the 25th February 2011. The video clearly highlights a player scoring a great goal and then running towards his supporters in the stand.  The supports lean forward to touch the player and then the railing collapsed sending the supported around three to four feet to the ground.  Around 20-30 fell down and several supports were shown be taken away by medical staff.  I have seen several similar occurrences in the past with one of the most notable examples being the Wisconsin Camp Randal incident in the 1990s where fans were leaning forward (before the rail collapse) due in part to the cameras, the mascot, the cheerleaders, and the ban all being in the same area.  Care should always be taken after a major score or similar pivotal time to properly engage fans, and not cause hysteria or a rush to a given location.

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