Sports Law • Risk Management

Boston Bombings: Sporting Event Risk Management Lesson

Investigators are pursuing leads that nylon bags placed in grocery bags may have held the bombs that caused the destruction, bodily injury and deaths near the finish line at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. This provides a reminder to anyone that attends or participates in a sporting event to be on the lookout for unattended boxes, bags or other containers that may or may not appear to be suspicious. Let us take a lesson from airport security.

As you know, any unattended bag in an airport is investigated by security personnel as suspicious. Travelers are well aware that they must stay in control of their bags or they may be scrutinized as possibly containing explosive devices. The same care should be taken at sporting events. Attendees should report to law enforcement the presence of any unattended boxes, bags or containers. Organizers should make reminder announcements of this practice just as occurs at airports. This practice can serve to identify possible explosive devices, but will also discourage terrorists from this practice. If attendees and participants are more alert and habitually report suspicious activity, it will be more difficult to successfully replicate the Boston Bombings.