Every weekend, thousands of fans flock to stadiums and playing grounds around the country to show support for their favourite sporting teams. CAP Security provides security staff for football games at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane and 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville, the Gabba for the Brisbane Lions and Ballymore for Queensland Rugby Union. With this experience comes great responsibility, and we are proud to say that we have become incredibly familiar with fan behaviour. With the NRL season upon us, and a huge year of sport ahead, we thought it would be timely to discuss a few of our tips regarding staying safe at major sporting events.
Plan your trip
The first tip is to plan your outing. Sporting events are always more enjoyable in a group, and as they say – there is safety in numbers. Before booking your tickets, gather together a group of friends to attend the event with. Whilst some of your mates may not be huge sporting fans, you may find that the chance to go to a big event will be exciting enough. Next, determine the exact location of your stadium (or playing field) and the transport hubs nearby. This way, you can determine the best mode of transport to get you to and from the game. It’s also always helpful to gage the amount of people that the event is expecting so that there are no surprises.
You can also plan ahead by deciding what belongings to take. Prioritise the belongings to take with you so that you’re not stuck carrying unnecessary items. If it is a day event make sure that, amongst your absolute essentials, you pack a hat, a refillable bottle of water and sunscreen.
Always have a buddy
As with any crowded public space, it’s always beneficial to stay in groups or at least one friend. Try to avoid walking around by yourself just incase you get lost, or get approached by a stranger. Whilst many event attendees do not seek out trouble, unfortunately incidents occur where individuals get caught in a fight or other confrontation. You’ll feel a lot safer in the company of another person.
Keep your valuables safe and out of reach
Be sure to keep your belongings secure at all times. We know that theft can occur anywhere, but at sporting events, where people are moving in large crowds, it’s very easy for thieves to snatch wallets or mobile phones. Look out for lockers or a cloak room at the venue if you are carrying a bag or simply keep belongings on you or in sight at all times.
Stay in Control
Stay in control of your drinking. Sporting events in Australia are synonymous with drinking. If you plan on drinking at the game, be sure to have a bite to eat beforehand. Whilst it’s great to enjoy yourself, be sure to take it easy and drink in moderation. If you decide to buy a drink, make sure you buy it yourself and keep it close at all times to prevent drink spiking. It’s also important to drink plenty of water and eat food, especially during a daylight event.
Stay in control of yourself. At large public events, it’s important to make sure that you treat other patrons with respect. Remember that you are all there to enjoy the game, so to make sure everyone has an enjoyable time, remain respectful to fans around you.
Stay in control of timing. Remember that you’re entering a large and crowded venue. Be sure to allow enough time to get in and out of the venue to avoid rushing.
Before the game begins, try and take a few moments to locate the restrooms, security personnel and emergency exits. This will make you familiar with the areas around you.
Be aware that at sporting events unfortunate eventualities can occur. It’s important to be aware of the surrounding crowd and the behaviours that are occurring. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, or simply feel that something is not right, let someone around you know. Better yet, make a security guard aware of the issue. At Suncorp Stadium, you’ll find CAP Security guards at the top of every stall section.
If an incident does break out, try and react in a quick and calm manner and stick with your friends or family. Remember that event stewards and security staff are there to help, so listen and follow their instructions.
Have a meet-up plan
We know that once the game has ended, most people are eager to leave the venue quickly and avoid traffic or crowd congestion. In the rush of leaving a crowded venue, it’s easy for friends and family to become separated. We suggest pre-arranging a group meeting point around the venue, just in case someone gets lost in the large crowds. With this backup plan in place, you can be confident that all group members will find their way back to the meeting spot at the end of the event.
We hope that you take these tips with you to your next sporting event and be sure to keep a lookout for CAP Security team members at your next event.