With the diverse nature of sporting venues we will focus on the main ones which attract the majority of sports fans. In the UK this would be football/ rugby stadiums. The modern stadiums in the UK are designed to comply with the latest laws and regulations and older style stadiums have been adapted to comply with the laws and regulations.
There are some simple rules though that can assist you when you are using these venues.
- Find out information on the stadium; how the seating is laid out, the capacity and if anything has happened in the past.
- Arrive in plenty of time, no rushing in last minute.
- Find out how you will leave at the end of the game, where is the exit.
- Use toilets and snack bars during the match, halftime is when the most movement will take place during your time in the stadium
- If you are going to leave early – half time or when the stadium opens its exits ( normally about the 75th minute )
- Avoid leaving on the final whistle as this will be the peak of egress.
- If you wait to the final whistle, stay in the seating area. Then when the peak egress has passed, head to the toilet before you head off. This allows time for the bulk of the fans to dissipate outside the stadium.
Through following these simple steps, you should be able to avoid the majority of predictable crowd build ups and movement.
The same steps can be followed when travelling to and from the Stadium when using public transport; especially underground and trains.
- Leave plenty of time to travel, the closer you get to kick off them the more chance of the carriages having more people in them.
- The build up of waiting passengers on the platforms will also increase for a period during the lead up to kick off. This can be uncomfortable and if the volume waiting is more than the available seats on the carriage, you end up with a packed carriage.
- A high percentage of over ground station will involve the use of staircases and I am sure the majority of underground stations have staircases and a high percentage escalators. Mass movement of people on stairs is always a risk to you – the possibility of you falling or someone falling on you. If you find it difficult to take a full stride then the density is at a level where others can affect your movement. When you are taking ¼ steps and moving slow then you are in a high density environment and the risk increases.
- Where possible, avoid using the transport networks at peak egress times. Try going to the shops, maybe have something to eat or a refreshing drink. This way you are passing time and allowing the majority of the customers spread through the transport network.
Again by following simple procedures you can reduce the risk of injury to yourself and others.
With more and more stadiums now being used for events such as pop and rock concerts, you may find that customers are using these facilities even though they may never have been in a football stadium before. Using the following simple steps will assist in keeping you safe.
- Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the stadium
- If you arrive just after the doors open, you will normally find the turnstiles have no queues. Leave it too late though and you will get caught up in the late arrivals ( anywhere between the main support act and main band – let’s say 1 hour before the main band ). You pay a lot of money for the tickets; you never know you might event like the support act.
- Have a look about the area your ticket allows you in to, Find the snack bars, merchandise and toilets. That will make it easier on you later. Also find the exits when you are there.
- Is you are on the standing area, it is your choice or not to be in a busy area. The standing capacity is a lot less than the available space. The majority of venues work to 2 persons per square meter. With people at the front of the stage standing closer together, that gives those at the back a lot more room to have a bit of personal space and either be social or stand all by yourself.
- If you are concerned about others bumping into you from behind, stand in front of the mixer desk or delay towers. Also gives you something to lean against or sit with your back to; it also provides great landmarks for meeting people when you go wondering.
- The interval during bands is when most people take the chance to go to the toilets or get a drink or food. The facilities on the seating decks will be deigned to handle the capacity of that area. The facilities for the standing or pitch area will have been brought in to allow the customers to be segregated from those in the seats. This will be done to guidance, but possibly not the most functional lay out – it takes time to understand the use of space in temporary areas. As customers try and understand the makeshift provision the use of space will be messy and confusing; the majority of these area always seem busy.
- There will be two main egress times. The first will be when the band first goes off stage, before coming on for the encore. Then we have the end of show and the gig is over. If you want to leave early, best getting out before the end of the show. You will be joined by those that have to get transport home early, not really enjoying it or like you; would rather avoid the rush.
- If you wait to the end of the show, hang back. Take your time leaving and let the crowds vanish into the night.