PHOENIX – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) joined the Cactus League, its teams and spring training facilities, and state and local partners Wednesday for a tabletop exercise to review incident preparedness measures and response plans at stadiums during spring training. While several of the teams and stadiums regularly review plans and conduct drills, this exercise sought to bring everyone together to share best practices and discuss coordination should an incident affect more than one venue. Wednesday’s exercise was not in a response to any specific threat, but was part of an ongoing collaborative effort to ensure the safety and security of fans attending spring training.
“Today’s exercise was just one of the many examples of the planning and coordination that takes place long before fans arrive in Arizona for spring training,” said CISA Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security Brian Harrell. “Whoever you root for on the diamond, we are all on the same team when it comes to fan safety and security. CISA looks forward to building upon our existing relationships and today’s exercise to ensure Cactus League fans have a safe and enjoyable experience.”
“We are grateful to CISA for sharing its expertise with our teams and facilities,” said Cactus League Executive Director Bridget Binsbacher. “Spring training is an important tourism driver in Arizona, and it is critical that we provide a safe, secure environment for the residents and out-of-state visitors who flock to Cactus League ballparks each year.”
“The D-backs have a strong working relationship with the Department of Homeland Security and are excited to once again partner with CISA for this tabletop exercise,” said Arizona Diamondbacks Director of Security Dave Ellis. “The safety and security of our fans is our number one priority and exercises like this one that bring together local, state and federal public safety personnel as well as private sector stakeholders are a great way to share best practices and ensure that we are as prepared as possible.”
The public has a critical role to play in security as well. CISA encourages any fans attending spring training games this year to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to stadium personnel or law enforcement. DHS’ “If You See Something, Say Something®” public awareness campaign has more information on the importance of reporting suspicious activity.
CISA works with sports leagues, teams, stadiums and arenas, and other large venues around the country to develop and exercise response plans for all of the potential threats in today’s environment. Resources and tools are available on www.CISA.gov.