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The sun is shining, the weather is sweet.
You finished walking the pitch with your director of security. “It could not be a more beautiful day,” he says.
He also knows today is a big match and seems laser-focused on starting and ending today’s matchup without a hitch.
It makes you feel relieved. You trust Billy’s leadership abilities.
A nearby city’s team and your home team’s rival is the visiting team. This means you will have a packed house. It is a sold out event, and you do not expect any no-shows today.
You are confident. Your walkthrough was successful, and your integral departments seem well-prepared for the event.
After returning to the command center, you receive a call on your radio. It is your head of guest services, Jerry, “It is 4:45; we are opening the turnstiles,” he shouts over the noise of the crowd.
You take a deep breath to relax and prepare for the next few hours, “Copy,” you reply.
It is game time.
Hyped fans flood through the gates into the stadium. Some fans head to their seats and others fill up the concession lines.
Without delay, the chanting begins.
You smile from the rush of energy exuberated throughout the stadium bowl.
“What a game this is going to be,” you whisper.
However, things start to change quickly.
The chanting increases as more fans storm the gates.
The game has not even begun. “We have a fight in section 102,” you hear over the radio.
Then, your security supervisor exclaims, “We are getting more fights calls throughout the stadium than we can handle!”
Your smile quickly fades. Your peace of mind turns to fear.
You are overwhelmed. However, you have a job to do.
You must protect your guests and staff. Contingencies and possible outcomes run through your mind.
What do you do? What can you do?
Colombia is known for its love of football [soccer].
Football is known for its violence.
Football violence is a force Colombia has been plagued by for decades.
The death of Colombian defender Andres Escobar, who had his life taken by angered fans in the national capital, Medellin, on July 11, 1994, after their own goal during the 1994 World Cup is one famous instance.
However, it has not been the only soccer-related violence faced by this country.
The longtime issue of stadium violence is changing.
According to Stephen Gill’s recent article, “Colombia imposes strict stadium entry rules to curb soccer violence,” the Interior Minister and Colombian Soccer Federation have taken proactive measures to stop soccer-related violence among fans.
“It cannot be that we are talking about peace, and we have to witness events as regrettable and reproachable as those that occurred in recent weeks,” said the minister.
Colombia is instituting regulations that require a license to attend games, enforce a blacklist of rioters, and eventual biometric entry to control stadium entry.
Colombia does not want only to reduce violence; they want to eliminate it. To lead change, you must take drastic, yet enforceable measures that others might be unwilling to take.
The expected rollout for badging and biometric entry to tighten security is February 2017. Although, it will not stop here.
If fans do commit violence, stiffer punishment will be pursued inclusive of complete reporting of associated persons.
Colombia is taking action to eliminate fan violence. What is your biggest takeaway?
You can learn something from Colombia.
Most times, operations are reacting and mitigating situations. It is an ability only to respond once something happens.
Reacting is the status quo. It is what you currently do. It is letting how things have always been done drive how you respond to issues and incidents.
Colombia is taking unyielding, progressive methods to take control of the violence problem that plagues their country and spectators.
Then, what is the lesson here? It is more than breaking the status quo alone.
The lesson is destroying the current situation through proactive operations.
You must ignore the status quo to overcome your greatest challenges successfully.
When you employ proactive operations at your property, the status quo does not matter anymore.
Why? You will always be forward thinking. A ‘status quo’ will no longer exist because you always improve to achieve success.
They have improved each of these areas to curb soccer-related violence at their stadiums.
We get it; it will not advance overnight.
However, this is why you must get started putting your proactive operation in place today. It does take time.
Not sure how to employ Proactive Operations at your property? You can read the full article about it here.
Implementing proactive operations will not be easy, but once it is in place, you are in control. That is what matters.
You ensure safety, not react to violence. You are proactive, not reactive.
Colombia’s efforts is a key example of how to take the reins of responsibility to overcome a long-lasting challenge at your property and in your industry.
Are you tired of the status quo? Do Colombia’s actions give you the motivation to make the drastic changes your operation faces?
Overcoming the status quo is how Proactive Operations modernize the world. Safety, security, and the guest experience rely on our ability to execute strategy, build strong infrastructure, and implement the innovative technology.
Break through the status quo. Be a proactive leader.