Showsec’s Manchester office implemented a detailed crowd management and security operation for Manchester City FC’s victory parade, 14th May 2012. Over 100,000 fans flocked to the city to celebrate as the team were crowned Premier League Champions for the first time since 1968.
The event and venue security specialist worked to a tight timeframe, planning two separate parades whilst waiting for the announcement of the tournament’s winning team, with Manchester City clinching the title with a dramatic 3-2 win over Queens Park Rangers.
Showsec area manager Mark Wilcock said: “Planning an event of this size would usually require up to six months planning. In this case we had two weeks, finalising the plans once the winners were announced. We’ve worked on the victory parade for many years so were able to confidently execute a full security operation within the timeframe.”
Working closely with all stakeholders including police, fire safety, ambulance, local retailers and Manchester City Council, Showsec provided on-route crowd management, security for VIP areas and close protection.
Road closures were also in place for the parade, starting at Albert Square and stretching across a 1.8 mile radius through the city centre and ending at Corporation Street. Mark and Showsec operation executives Tom Bailey and Tim Chambers led a team of 350 Showsec staff including 250 SIA licensed professionals and 50 supervisors.
Tom adds: “For this particular event, we created a bubble, which is a shield of protective staff keeping an eye on the crowd. The team walked alongside and encompassed the VIP bus to prevent anyone breaking through the barriers, and provided additional protection for the Manchester City players aboard the bus and the general public. As the bus continued along the parade route, more Showsec staff were deployed in key locations and joined the bubble to keep the bus and the spectators safe.”
At the non-ticketed event, Showsec executed a controlled zone in Albert Square with a no alcohol policy. Consistent liaison with licensed premises prior to the event was required to ensure the policy was supported.
Tom continues: “Albert Square has a capacity of 10,000 people so we secured all entrances with lanes, which helped us control the number of people entering the site and ensure safe and fluid crowd flow. We counted people coming in and out to ensure capacity was not exceeded and implemented bag searches where necessary to ensure no alcohol made it on site.
“The key aim for us throughout the parade was to ensure that everyone on site remained safe and enjoyed the celebrations. It’s been 44 years since Manchester City FC has won a top flight trophy in a top flight league, therefore customer care was a core part of our service as life-long fans, families and children joined in the celebrations.”