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3 dead after car crashes into Oklahoma State homecoming parade

By Nick Bromberg, Dr. Saturday, 10/24/15 Yahoo Sports
A car crashed into the Oklahoma State homecoming parade Saturday “at a high rate of speed,” killing three people and injuring nearly three dozen others.

Stillwater police said Saturday afternoon that 34 people were injured, including eight critically. The accident happened when a woman, identified as 25-year-old Adacia Chambers, drove her car into a crowd near the end of the parade route. She was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

From the Tulsa World:

A vehicle collided into parade attendees near the intersection of East Hall of Fame Avenue and North Main Street, according to multiple witnesses. The intersection is near the end of the parade route where a large concentration of people were watching the parade.

From the World, continued:

Geoff Haxton, who was about 100 yards away from the incident, said a 4-door vehicle not affiliated with the parade crashed into the crowd. Other witnesses told him the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed.

The accident happened at approximately 10:30 a.m. CT in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Oklahoma State’s game against Kansas kicked off as scheduled at 2:30 p.m. as the school’s president told reporters that “We’re going to play and we’re going to remember the victims.”

There was a pregame moment of silence and the flags at T. Boone Pickens Stadium were lowered to half-staff.

Oklahoma State released a statement via its Twitter account after the accident.

The car, according to police captain Kyle Gibbs, first struck a police motorcycle that was unoccupied and then into the crowd watching the parade.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

Man commits suicide during Bills tailgate

Man commits suicide during Bills tailgate near Ralph Wilson Stadium, cops say
BY Amara Grautski
Monday, September 14, 2015

A man who was part of a group of Bills fans tailgating in a parking lot outside Ralph Wilson Stadium shot himself Saturday night, police said.

The middle-aged man, who was from Western New York, could not be revived and died at the scene, the Buffalo News reported. Orchard Park police would not identify the man.

“We do not, as a policy, release names of (suicide victims),” police chief Mark Pacholec said.

The sold-out lot across Abbott Road from the stadium was reserved for campers and RV’s in advance of Sunday’s 1 p.m. Bills game against the Colts.


A group of tailgaters was dancing to music around 10:20 p.m., one man told the newspaper, when the gun went off.

“There was a bunch of screaming,” said Chris Hurley, a Vermont resident and Bills season-ticket holder.

But with fireworks also being set off nearby, not everyone knew what had occurred.

One woman said she saw the man collapse, according to the report, while a man said he heard a “pop” before spotting him on the ground.

Fans did not remember there being a confrontation before the shooting, the report said.

The Erie County Medical Examiner’s Office said it will be “weeks” before it gets the toxicology results.

Man shot in head during Dallas Cowboys tailgate fight

Man shot in head during Dallas Cowboys tailgate fight outside AT&T Stadium after crowd goaded gunman
BY Nicole Hensley
Updated: Monday, October 12, 2015,

A gunman shot a football fan during a rowdy Dallas Cowboys tailgate party outside AT&T Stadium after onlookers encouraged the attack, according to a report.

A huge mele brought cops to what police believe was the drunken remnants of the night’s tailgating, an hour and a half after the Cowboys’ 30-6 blowout loss against the New England Patriots.

Off-duty police officers handling security at the Arlington stadium were the first to arrive at Sunday night’s fight between two men. It’s there authorities heard a suspect fire a gunshot into the crowd.

A male victim in his early 40s was found with a gunshot wound to his head. Paramedics airlifted the victim to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The alleged assailant was injured after tripping over a retaining wall during his attempted escape, authorities added.

The suspect allegedly held a gun to the victim’s head as a crowd egged him on to open fire, witnesses told a Star-Telegramreporter.

“I didn’t think he was going to pull the trigger,” Lester Peters told the Star-Telegram.

Neither the victim nor suspect have been identified.

Police investigating fight at Dodger Stadium, fan critically injured

Police investigating fight at Dodger Stadium after fan critically injured
Sports Illustrated, Oct. 13, 2015

Police are investigating a fight outside Dodger Stadium Friday night, in which one fan sustained critical injuries, reports the Associated Press.

The Dodgers hosted the New York Mets in Los Angeles on Friday for Game 1 of the National League Division Series. The Dodgers lost the game 3–1, and are down in the series 1–2.

Officer Matthew Ludwig said the physical altercation escalated from an argument between fans, though he was not sure if they were from rival teams. Los Angeles police are still searching for the people involved in the fight.

The injured fan remained hospitalized on Monday in critical but stable condition, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Security was increased at Dodger Stadium after a 2011 fight drew national scrutiny. San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was attacked by two men on Opening Day 2011 and left with permanent brain damage. The men eventually pleaded guilty and were sent to federal prison.

The Dodgers will play the Mets at Citi Field for Game 4 on Tuesday. A Dodgers victory would force a Game 5 back in Los Angeles.

The Curious Science of Counting a Crowd

Popular Mechanics- Sep 12, 2011
Crowd-size estimation is tough for people who want to do it right. But when turnout implies clout, then politicians and event organizers have plenty of motivation to exaggerate the head count. Through careful research, though, it is possible to make better crowd-size estimates that aren’t the result of political bias.

On June 4, a huge crowd gathered in Hong Kong for a vigil to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing. But just how huge? In some stories 77,000 people showed up. Another story, though, listed the attendance as nearly double that: 150,000.

There’s a reason for the disparity. The first figure—77,000—is a police estimate. The second is from the event’s coordinators, who probably had some motivation to pad their numbers. To find out which crowd size was correct, two professors—Paul Yip at the University of Hong Kong and Ray Watson at Melbourne University—ran the numbers. To fit 150,000 people into that space, they’d have to cram together at about one person per 2.7 square feet (four per square meter), so that estimate is unrealistic. That would be “mosh-pit density,” the researchers write in a new paper on crowd estimation techniques published in the journal Significance.

This story of competing head counts is not uncommon. Estimating large numbers is difficult even with the best of intention. If you count the number of jellybeans in a jar three times, you’ll probably have three different numbers, because people simply cannot count very large numbers without some error. Now, imagine trying to count a shifting mass of heads, some stooping to tie shoes, some sharing the same umbrella, some arriving late or leaving early. Plus, this is one field in which good intentions are rare. Crowd-size estimation is a murky science, positioned at the intersection of statistical precision and political sleight-of-hand, and plenty of people are motivated to either exaggerate or low-ball an event’s attendance.

“Almost everyone who has tried to make a crowd estimate has a vested interest in what the outcome of the estimate is,” Charles Seife says. Seife is a journalism professor at New York University who writes about math and physics. [Disclosure: I had a class with Seife at NYU.] His newest book Proofiness tackles the ways that people try to fool others (and sometimes fool themselves) with numbers. “Whenever you see a crowd estimate,” he says, “you have to wonder where it’s coming from.” Nevertheless, Seife says, if you do your math carefully, it is possible to count a large crowd to within a couple of tens of thousands. And researchers like Yip and Watson are now applying new strategies to find out whether it is indeed possible to get a more accurate count of a teeming mass of humanity.
Crowd-Counting 101

Herbert Jacobs, a journalism professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in the 1960s, is credited with modernizing crowd-counting techniques. From his office window, Jacobs could see students gathered on a plaza below protesting the Vietnam War. The plaza’s concrete was poured in a grid, so Jacobs counted students in a few squares to get an average of students per square, then multiplied by the total squares. He derived a basic density rule that says a light crowd has one person per 10 square feet, a dense crowd has one person per 4.5 square feet, and Yip and Watson’s mosh-pit density would have one person per 2.5 square feet.

Fifty years after Jacobs, the tools for counting crowds have improved but the principle is the same: area times density. Steve Doig, a journalism professor at Arizona State University, used a photo from a GeoEye-1 military satellite to count people at President Barack Obama’s inauguration speech in 2009 (he estimated 800,000 people). The New York Police Department counts the people in the fenced crowd-control barricades that it places, then multiplies by the number of barricades. Yip and Watson applied the basic formula to the candlelight vigil in Hong Kong.

But a simple area times density calculation has its limits. Crowds are not uniform—they clump in some places and spread out in others. To account for this, estimation methods are becoming more sophisticated. Companies such Digital Design and Imaging Service are now adapting the formula for multiple densities. The firm has counted attendance at major events on the National Mall in recent years and claims it can count the crowd to within 10 percent. So CBS hired DDIS to count heads at Glenn Beck’s rally at the Lincoln Memorial in August 2010.

To get its figure for the Beck rally, the design firm first cased the venue, created 3D maps marked with probable high-density spots and cross-referenced those with historical photos of similar events. The result was a prediction of how people would congregate. “Our goal is to find out where we anticipate the crowds will gather. If it’s in the winter, we look for the wind breaks, and if it’s in the heat of summer, we look for the shade,” Curt Westergard, the company’s president, says. Crowds press toward the stage, but also toward the Jumbotron screens, and they shy from loudspeakers, he says.

Knowing what to expect, Westergard chose his observation point and launched a tethered balloon at the height of the rally. The balloon lifted a suite of remote-control cameras that, within seconds, had captured 360-degree crowd shots at various heights: 200 feet, 400 feet and 800 feet. The different heights allowed for shots of people under trees and in hard-to-see places. He laid a composite of the images over the 3D model and counted heads. His team counted heads in grid squares that represented different densities. Then, for each density (such as lightly populated or very heavily populated) they multiplied the number of people per square by the number of squares of that category, finally arriving at an estimate of 87,000 people for the Beck rally.

Interesting Web Page

Dr. Keith Still is a well regarded research on crowd management and has any interesting web page. Here is the link:

An Art That da Vinci Could Not Master

Billy Langenstein / October 6, 2015 Facility Manager Magazine

Leonardo da Vinci was known for the “Mona Lisa.” Donatello was known for “David.” One piece of art that surrounds us every day and does not have a famous artist is the portrait of crowd management. Whether you are hosting a football game, concert, music festival, or performing arts show, the type of crowds and behavior changes for each event. There is no equation that we can use that will tell us exactly what we want to know; however, every time we stand out on our concourses, parking lots, or plazas we are watching the painting come to life right before our very eyes. We have the opportunity to learn a little bit more about our craft, just like da Vinci did as he painted “The Virgin and Child with St. Anne.” But ask yourself, do we truly ever fully master the art of crowd management?

When speaking with many of the top professionals in our industry, we always ask, “How is the ingress and egress?” Ask yourself where your ingress starts. At the entrance to your building as a guest’s ticket is being scanned? With the flow into your parking lots or off of the highways? Does it include the average time for a person to wait in line to purchase a hot dog or wait in line to use the restroom? Our professional leagues have all adapted metal detection protocols and policies at their events, and as operators we have an obligation to ensure we execute a safe, clean, and family environment, while exceeding guests’ expectations. A major task that we all have is to mitigate wait times, to ensure everyone is in their seats to see the first pitch, kick-off, puck drop, or the main headliner hit the stage. We have to over promise and over deliver on our experience.

What if we were to change crowd management through buyer type? Individuals and habits are all different, so specifics of diagnosing and changing the patterns at our events differ from event to event, person to person, and behavior to behavior. Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, speaks about three key traits in behavior and why humans are compelled by habit—cue, routine, and reward.

Cue is the automatic behavior to start something. Our guests are going to choose to come to the game and are going to take the most comfortable route to get to the building.

Routine is the behavior itself. Our season plan holders, our frequent visitors, know the main entrances into our buildings or where the most popular concession stand and team store is.

Reward helps the brain remember the pattern.

What if we were to change the habit of our guests to effectively alleviate some of the transportation challenges with overloaded streets? If we pre-sell parking by zones and load the streets so that people who are traveling from the north have to park in the north, and people who are traveling from the south have to park in the south, will this help with cross traffic and cars driving around in circles? We all have a gate that sees the largest percentage of guests enter. Can we “sell” the guest experience outside of the gates to change our pedestrian traffic to move in a different direction that ultimately will lower the percentage of guests entering one entrance? This creates more of a balance. Every little bit is a victory.

We know that our crowds do not like to take risks. If a guest takes the risk of walking halfway around the exterior of the building, which a guest might not have ever done before, what is the reward? Is the reward entering into the building faster? Will they continue to do it moving forward, and have we now created a new habit? What if we start the guest experience outside of the building with fan ambassadors equipped with bull horns or fan ambassador carts that become destination locations for people to ask questions and team members providing information to help influence a person’s decision, such as a unique concession stand or retail location? A smiling and courteous event staff is critical in establishing the trust and first impression with our guests. Does stagnant signage communicate the message we want, and do people actually read the signs? People listen to someone who is constantly repeating information that could assist them. The more way-finding that we have around our building, the more education we are providing to our guests. Now buildings have started to engage their guests live while standing in line through social media. Buildings post key information and live wait times for entrances, bathrooms, and concession stands to influence crowd behavior. Sponsorship and marketing activations on more than one side of the building will help drive people to other areas, too. How can we measure this? Does it work, and are we influencing the behavior of our guests?

As we continue to evaluate how we load our parking lots and our buildings, and ultimately our internal circulations, do you think this affects our buildings’ per caps? Does this influence our guests’ buying patterns when they arrive inside? Will they still visit their favorite stands that might be on the other side of the venue now, or will they start to purchase at a concession stand they never knew existed. Crowd movement can be tied to a building’s per cap, and you could see a rise in specific stands or a retail store. Strategically placing retail portables or specialty beer portables in specific locations can help create a new habit for where people purchase an item. Can we build an ROI on how our guests enter and move around the building with how our retail and concession stands are doing? The wait time to purchase food and beverage directly correlates to our building revenue and how fast we can move our crowds through concession lines. If we can get our guests parked earlier, into our building faster, our gross revenue for that day should increase. If we can tactically incentivize our guests on how they purchase parking and where they park, how they enter or exit and move throughout the building, the overall guest experience will improve.

Crowd management is known to be one of the most essential aspects within any major event. Working collaboratively with all building external and internal partners through pre-planning stages and execution is vital to success. Crowd control techniques lay the foundation for a controlled, safe, and well-regulated environment. As operators, we can have all of the certifications, training, and manuals that our industry has to offer, but this is one piece of art that not even da Vinci could have mastered. Crowd management is an evolving art that we continue to learn and prepare for at every event. Our paint brushes are constantly being used to paint the best possible portrait for our guests. FM

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