Keeping all those people safe and happy for the few hours they’re onsite requires a complex mix of staff, volunteers and lightly trained game-day workers, technology and clear processes. In the post-pandemic era, Mercurio says, recruiting reliable workers has been the most challenging part.
“Trying to figure out how get people back to work, and in some cases using technology to replace people who don’t come back to work, has really been top of mind for me,” he said.
“If you can remove friction between the three things that make for a successful event, which always starts with people, but if you can effectively merge those people with good processes and the right technology, then you’re cooking.”
Mercurio was joined by Joe Monroe, chief of the University of Kentucky Police Department, and John Bertsch, executive director of global safety and security for the IRONMAN Group, which runs marathons, triathlons and other endurance-sport events around the world.
Technology Complements Event Security Professionals
Technology is playing a growing role at Levi’s stadium in ensuring a safe game-day experience for fans, Mercurio said. Walk-through metal detectors are getting more effective, requiring fewer fans to be manually wanded upon entry, for example. The quality of surveillance cameras is also increasing, as is barrier technology that generates an alert whenever someone enters a restricted area.
“You’ll never be able to replace, nor should you want to replace, all the human capital,” he said. “But if you can marry your people with smart technologies, you’ll create a good experience for your customers.”