They’re supposed to make all of your worries go away.
Sporting events are meant to be an escape from reality. People dealing with real-world problems can go to a ballpark or arena and have fun for three hours without thinking of those outside distractions.
Well now, that worry-free experience may no longer exist.
With the recent acts of terror that took place at the Boston Marathon this past Monday, which left three people dead and more than 170 injured, fans attending sporting events will be forced to be more vigilant.
“I’ll still keep going to watch games, but I am definitely going to pay more attention to my surroundings,” Jack Mason, a 23-year-old student at Las Positas College, said.
There are some that are already on alert when they go to sporting events.
Livermore resident Miguel Garcia went on a trip to New Orleans this past February to watch the Super Bowl. Those who watched the game probably remember seeing the lights go out in the Superdome. When Garcia noticed the stadium go dark, thoughts of terrorism were in his mind.
“When the power outage happened, I got out of my seat and went to the hallway,” Garcia said. “Ever since 9/11, I’ve been more on the edge when I go watch sports.”
In terms of media coverage, the Boston Marathon is the second biggest single-day sporting event in the U.S. behind the Super Bowl, according to the Boston Athletic Association.
If this can happen at such a high profile event, it could happen anywhere.
Tighter security measures are already being installed throughout the country. Look no further than the city of Oakland. In the wake of the Boston bombings, with the Oakland Athletics and Golden State Warriors scheduled to play on the same night, the Oakland Police Department released a statement regarding security at the events.
“We will have a more visible presence than normal at our major sporting events this evening, and are coordinating collaboration for enhanced security measures or needs with the BART Police Department, Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, and local commuter ferry services,” Oakland police said, according to KTVU.
LPC Athletic Director Dyan Miller recently attended the women’s NCAA Final Four in New Orleans. Looking back on her experience dealing with security, she is glad she went through the long process to keep her safe.
“I remember seeing the police with their special K-9 unit everywhere right before the championship game,” Miller said. “With this tragedy having happened a week later, I’m appreciative of the measures they took.”
While LPC regularly has security present when hosting sporting events, an event like this certainly raises awareness of everyone involved with the events. Miller thinks the tragedy gives them a chance to review the steps they are taking to keep everyone safe.
“Things like Boston and the Newtown shooting allow us to think about conducting our risk assessment to make sure our emergency response plan is in place. It makes us pay attention,” Miller said.
While security is sure enhanced everywhere we go to make us feel safe, it may now be impossible for some to enjoy a sporting event in peace.