PHOENIX – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) joined the Cactus League, its teams and spring training facilities, and state and local partners Tuesday for a virtual tabletop exercise to review pre-incident preparedness measures and response plans at stadiums during spring training. While several of the teams and stadiums regularly review plans and conduct drills, for the second year in a row, a leaguewide exercise was held to allow everyone to share best practices and discuss coordination should an incident affect more than one venue. The exercise scenario included an information and intelligence sharing piece among public and private sectors, and an active threat at a ballpark. Tuesday’s exercise was held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions and was not in a response to any specific threat.
“As the nation responds to the coronavirus pandemic and decisions are made as to schedules and fan attendance at stadiums, the work to keep fans, players and others safe does not stop,” said CISA Acting Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security Scott Breor. “Today’s exercise was just one of the many examples of the planning and coordination that takes place to prepare for a range of possible incidents. CISA looks forward to building upon our existing relationships working with the Cactus League, all 15 teams, and Arizona and local officials to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable spring training experience.”
“Major League Baseball is grateful for the continuing collaboration between CISA, the Cactus League, and all other tribal, local, state, and federal law enforcement and security partners in Arizona, who work diligently to ensure the safety of all who attend Spring Training at the Cactus League,” said Dave Thomas, Vice President Security & Ballpark Operations, Major League Baseball.
“The Arizona Diamondbacks are excited to once again partner with CISA, Major League Baseball and our public and private sector partners from across the Valley and country on the second annual Cactus League Tabletop Exercise,” said David Ellis, Director of Security for the Arizona Diamondbacks. “This exercise gives us the opportunity to share ideas and best practices while identifying areas for improvement as we strive to provide the highest level of safety and security to our fans.”
In addition to efforts by the MLB and all levels of government, the public has a critical role to play in security. CISA encourages any fans attending spring training games this year to both follow the guidance of their state and local health officials and remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to stadium personnel or law enforcement. DHS’ See Something, Say Something® campaign has more information on reporting suspicious behavior.
CISA works with sports leagues, teams, stadiums and arenas, and other large venues around the country to design and exercise response plans for all potential threats in today’s environment. CISA supports approximately 80 exercises a year, and the agency has staff strategically located throughout the United States to advise businesses, schools and other organizations of all sizes on ways to enhance their security and resilience. Resources and tools are available on the agency’s website through its Hometown Security initiative.