Safety Improves At Comcast Center

Unified public safety efforts have improved security at Live Nation-operated  and other outdoor venues this summer, government officials in Mansfield, Mass., heard at a recent meeting.


Mansfield Police Chief Ronald Sellon and fire chief Neal Boldrighini said the team of local public safety, private security staff and local hospital staff that coordinated security measures have reduced serious medical- and fire-related problems, according to the Mansfield News.

“One call instantly doubled the response. It was incredibly helpful,” Sellon said.

Police have also added a bomb-sniffing dog to search the Comcast Center before and during the first few hours of any show, the paper reports.

The added protection appears to be going over well with fans, especially tailgaters, who utilize unlit areas of the parking lots.

Firefighters now ensure outdoor grills and other equipment brought in by fans are used and stored safely in the lots.

The paper reports that some fans have tried to hide hot grills under vehicles and even inside cars to keep them from being stolen, according to the News.

“I think there’s a comfort level when you see public safety out there,” Boldrighini said.

A new safety agreement between the selectmen and Comcast Center was signed earlier this year in the wake of drug- and alcohol-related fights, arrests and deaths at the venue in recent years.

The new entertainment license includes the unified emergency command center and more flexible staffing levels. The new security plan hasn’t been able to prevent all problems that arise when the equivalent population of a small city converges on the 19,900-capacity Comcast Center. The News reports there have been 20 arrests for assault, seven breaking and entering, 276 incidents of public drunkenness and 134 charged with various alcohol violations.

In the 21 shows to date at the time of the report, 500 people had been taken into protective custody, 531 treated for medical issues and 123 transported to hospitals, according to the paper.

Selectman George Dentino still expressed reservations about crowd control at the venue, referring to the lawn areas as a “wild, wild West” that “has been a disaster since 1987.”

Fans running afoul of the rules aren’t the only ones being scrutinized, either. City selectmen also reportedly voted to fine Comcast Center after the Eagles ran three minutes over the 11 p.m. curfew during a July 19 concert. “If you can’t control the bands you hire, you pay the fine,” Dentino said.