Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Oh Yes They Call Him The Streak...

"We've got some things to do. One of the problems is our field is poorly set up. At B.C. they have a 10-foot wall. At Edmonton they have a wall and a track that serves as a moat. We have a fan-friendly stadium, so we were looking at we could do, maybe with more permanent fencing and more fan control." (from the Leader-Post)

- Jim Hopson, Saskatchewan Roughrider President and CEO

Well, you know what that means:

Looks like a pretty good time, doesn't it? Much more fan-friendly.

Fencing around a field has never caused any problems, has it?

"May 29, 1985 - Brussels, Belgium; 39 people are killed at the European Champions Cup Final at Heysel Stadium when riots beak out and a wall separating rival fans of England's Liverpool and Italy's Juventus of Turin collapses.

April 15, 1989 - Sheffield, England; 95 people are crushed to death at an English FA Cup semifinal game between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, when police open gates to alleviate crowding outside Hillsborough Stadium. The resulting rush of people onto the already filled terrace sections traps fans against riot control fences ringing the field.

Jan. 13, 1991 - Orkney, South Africa; at least 40 people are killed, most of them trampled or crushed along riot-control fences that surround the field, when fans panic and try to escape brawls that break out in the grandstand." (from CNNSI.com)

Now obviously CFL football and soccer in... well, everywhere else in the world, create different types of fan response. However, putting fencing around a playing field to keep fans off is a bad idea no matter where it happens. It is a tragedy waiting to happen... or at the very least, it increases the chances of something bad happening.

But surely there are some alternatives?

How about what Hopson mentioned himself - a moat. And not some sissy running track like in Edmonton. I'm talking about a Leeds Castle-style moat. Take a look at that thing - no drunken hillbillies are getting past that. Or maybe they will. Just to make sure, the moat shouldn't be filled with water - but something more along the lines of boiling, molten lead. Oh sure they'll be some health risks to fans, player, coaches, geese flying overhead, and people living as far away as Pilot Butte. But at least it'll keep people off the field. And that's really what it's all about isn't it?

Or...how about this? How about actual security guards who know how to do their jobs? How about security guards who's day jobs aren't standing at the front of a Zellers store? How about a security guard who isn't a 60 year old man who is 45 pounds overweight, or a 38 years old mother of 3, or a guy who looks like Kip from Napoleon Dynamite (without the sai's)? How about more than 2 RCMP officers who walk around the stadium once a half?

The security currently in place at Taylor Field is an absolute joke. And people wonder why there are incidents in the stands and on the playing field itself. I have seen with my own eyes security guards standing idly by while situations arise in the stands.

"We need our fans, the vast majority who are there having a good time, to help us by calling the security people. If there is an issue, call the number that appears on our video screen. We've got two teams of five security people ready to move around the stadium to deal with things proactively." (from the Leader-Post)

- Hopson

Obviously security guards are human and cannot be everywhere and see everything that is going on in the stands, which is why I think it's a good idea to have a number people can call. However, I don't think that two teams of five people is adequate to deal with a stadium that can hold close to 30,000 people - especially with the caliber of guard currently in place at Taylor Field.

Instead of doughy, elderly gentlemen - how about a security force of off-duty police officers or firefighters? Are RCMP cadets allowed to have another job 10 days a summer? Because if they are Regina sure has a lot of those kicking around. Or what about Pre-Police Studies or Human Justice students from the University of Regina. It seems to me that improving the quality of security guard at Taylor Field is the key to improving the level of safety in the stadium. And it would seem like there are a variety of ways to improve the security personnel.

Are you more likely to run onto the field if there is an off-duty Regina City Police officer standing in front of you - or someone who looks like they could have been an extra in Good Burger?

Thought so.


Anonymous said...

Here! Here! I will ask around and see what the security situation is in Winnipeg when I am there. I think they have a 40 ft inflatable gorilla in the south end zone. He makes a much finer guard than any Taylor Field has to offer

Anonymous said...

I really like the moat idea, seriously. I am all about the over-reaction, and people seem to be great at it in this province. Crime goes up, more police, harsher punishment. Price of gas goes up, well lets drive the same amount as always and ask for a new government. People run on the field at a football game (like that doesn't happen anyplace else, moat or not) and misbehave, lets get guard dogs and explosive neck collars for all fans.
Sure people misbehave, but it happens all over the place and isn't confined to sporting events, this is life...get use to it. So you don't want your kids to hear swear words and see fights, go sit in the family fun zone (or perhaps you could cut off their ears and gouge out their eyes cause they will see and hear that stuff sooner or later). Hey riders want to do something pro-active? Have a section for adults only (then put all the lazy security guards in that section).
But I am probably wrong...more guards and a fence will fix everything, good idea Riders.

trebor said...

Hey if shaquille oneal (cast member of good burger)was standing infront of the stands not too many people would run out of the stands.

how about the CFL players that get cut there's a few of them running around this time of year, they'd be close to the game and could probably do a good job.