The National Football League (NFL) took a hit today, but this time it was not on the field but rather in the parking lot. An unidentified man was killed today in the parking lot of Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri during the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos game. The Los Angeles Times article states that the victim died from a struggle with two other people and a homicide investigation is currently underway. This is not the first time we have seen violence in the parking lots of big league and stadiums. In 2011, a San Francisco Giants fan was beaten into a coma by Los Angeles Dodgers fans following a Giants/Dodgers game in Los Angeles. On November 11th of this year, a twenty one year-old man was beaten in the parking lot of University of Utah’s football stadium causing skull fractures.
Although these parking lot incidents seem to be a fairly rare occurrence, a question still remains: should the parking lots of big league and college stadiums have a stronger security presence? Having attended many Major League Baseball and National Hockey League games, I have noticed that there is security in the parking lots, however, security personnel tend to be located closer to the stadium. The majority of these parking lots are very large and it is easy for security to miss any incidents that occur in areas of the parking lots that are furthest away from the stadium. Realistically, it is difficult to monitor the entire perimeter of these large parking lots but major league and college teams should tighten their policy on fan security by having a greater security presence in these parking lots. Whether that entails more security personnel in these parking lots, ensuring the mobility of the security members or installing surveillance cameras in the parking lots, this will be up to the leagues and teams. What parent will want to spend money and bring their child to a game if they have a fear of their safety before they even enter the stadium? This is an issue that must be dealt at the league level and I believe that the incident that occurred earlier today in Kansas City might spark a change in security policies across the NFL and other big league and college sports.