Success Story

Football Stadia Hostile Vehicle Mitigation

Football Stadia Hostile Vehicle Mitigation

THE CLIENT: Sports Stadia

LOCATION: United Kingdom – Multi Site

THE BRIEF: The emerging vehicle as a weapon threat (VAAW) has caused several National Assets to rethink their security measures if they are conducive to create a crowded space. Stadiums are a prime example of this due to them creating a whole fan experience around match days or major sporting events whilst remaining pretty empty outside of event days.

Site Characteristics:

For larger stadiums, tens of thousands of fans enter and exit the surrounding area over the course of a three-hour period. Fan zones containing food and drink facilities create a gathering point for fans before an event; after an event, fans / visitors normal exit on mass within around 10-20 minutes of an event concluding.

Logistically, this is challenging for sites trying to cope and manage that many people all at once and to keep them safe needs proper consideration.


Not only is the number of visitors over such a short period of time challenging, it is also a challenge to keep pedestrian areas and vehicle areas separated so there is not chance of an accident or intentional attack.

Where there are people, there will need to be emergency access for fire trucks, ambulances and the police. Creating safe zones and emergency vehicle access is challenging.

Due to the critical nature and high value of the data stored within their top facilities, the client required solutions that they could depend on to protect the site if it came under attack. The Hill and Smith Infrastructure group of companies involved in the project worked together with the client to provide them with a range of suitable options to protect the data centre.

The sensitive nature of the site meant that the original specification was for fencing which has been approved for government use as well as fencing and bollards which could provide hostile vehicle mitigation. As accredited systems were being deployed, it was important that they should be installed by an approved installer, who had been vetted and trained to install a certified product in the correct way.


To achieve this balance of fan zone protection, vehicle access and emergency access; a variety of different security methods are utilised.

Manual, HVM Swing Gates have been deployed to secure the roads surrounding stadia with the intention of reinforcing road closures on match days, to prevent accident and injury to nearby crowds, should an errant vehicle travelling at speed lose control.

These products are designed to remain open in a fixed position. On-site operatives can quickly and efficiently close the gates as and when required. Without being reliant on hydraulic controls, the gates are a long-term cost-effective solution that will safeguard people and critical infrastructure and close roads to secure large numbers of people within seconds.

Additional temporary security measures are used to secure fan zone areas directly around stadia grounds. The Surface Guard system is perfect for this due to its ability to facilitate pedestrian flow and provide access to vehicles in an emergency. The product has sacrificial polyurethane covers which can be vinyl wrapped to tie in with event sponsorship deals or stadium branding. This system helps to facilitate the mass exodus of visitors after an event finishes.

The alternative is also high visibility pedestrian portals integrated with steel / concrete barriers. This solution also facilitates pedestrian flow and ensures a certified solution against hostile vehicles.

Finally, the stadium perimeter itself needs to utilise access control measures to reinforce ticket restrictions. This has been successful achieved using external pedestrian turnstiles which can cope with high pedestrian count and can be integrated with ticket bar scanners.

Hardstaff Barriers have delivered all these solutions to stadiums and event facilitates across the UK and beyond.

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