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Security is a big expense for major entertainment venues. First, there is the risk that a crowd might get rowdy–especially where emotions can run high and beer is the beverage of choice. On top of that, the size of many venues, their iconic status within a city, and the crowds they can draw make them attractive targets for those looking to execute a dramatic attack with lasting psychological impact–witness, for example, the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park Bombing in Atlanta, GA. Finally, these are often expensive events, with lots of patrons carrying cash and shelling it out for tickets, trinkets, snacks, and drinks. Looks like a slam-dunk for pick-pockets and bandits.
While it might seem daunting to secure such a venue–all those turn-gates, all those ticket windows, all those entrances and exits–venue owners have the advantage, since thieves are by definition looking for easy pickings. With crowds and security milling around, there’s only one real target for most bandits: The will call window. Especially if they’re not equipped with ballistic glass.
BALLISTIC GLASS AT THE WILL CALL WINDOW
The vast majority of ticket windows at any venue have next to no cash on hand. The one exception is the will call window, where tickets are sold immediately before an event. These are often tucked into out-of-the-way corners far from the crowds, ticket takers, and concessions–i.e., far from the the places where security is focused before and during an event. This is the only publicly accessible point in the stadium where there is likely to be any meaningful build-up of cash, and is often connected to the venue’s offices, where the cash from concession booths and strolling snack-sellers is tallied and held.
The best move for most stadiums is to keep it simple: Lock down that office, and limit will call to a single bullet proof window. In a location shielded from the elements, many venues will favor the clear voice-transmission and unobstructed view supplied by an aluminum voice-around bullet proof transaction window:
Since some will call transactions need to occur before the venue is open, an entirely external ballistic window might be preferable, like this exterior transaction window:
Such ballistic glass units are shipped as all-in-one drop-in assemblies that can be quickly installed by most contractors, including the stadium’s existing staff.
STADIUM SECURITY BEYOND BALLISTIC GLASS
While stadium crowds actually reduce the risk of armed robbery, they clearly carry their own risk of rowdies getting out of hand. Subsequently many stadiums–and especially those associated with major colleges and universities–favor “detention glazing” for their ticket windows, concession areas, and apparel shops. This is a ballistically unrated half-inch thick polycarbonate, very similar to the polycarbonate used in some bullet proof windows. But where the most common bullet proof windows use a hard and brittle transparency (such as laminated glass or monolithic acrylic), polycarbonate is somewhat flexible, and rebounds when struck. Detention glazing won’t stop a bullet like a window made of ballistic glass, but the springy polycarbonate will deflect a boot, rock, or commemorative beer mug indefinitely. It also adds a level of forced-entry and blast protection, meaning that the effectiveness of any terror-motivated attack can be significantly reduced.