[MLB staff] could walk into any conference room, and with just a click, they could see dashboards with maps showing the location of security staff, live traffic, and 911 calls. They hadn't seen dynamic data that was so accessible before.
ArcGIS Mission Aids Security for World Series Games and Parade
Defeating the Houston Astros in five games, the Atlanta Braves claimed their second World Series title in 2021— a moment team members and hundreds of thousands of fans celebrated. Prepping for celebrations, county government officials in Cobb County, Georgia, turned to geographic information system (GIS) technology.
Before the 2017 opening of the home of the Atlanta Braves, Truist Park, Cobb County officials had invested in advanced traffic management technology to move fans efficiently to and from the ballpark near the intersection of two interstate highways. Leveraging these technologies and GIS, county staff collaborated with the Cobb County Police Department to create up-to-date maps of the area and remotely control traffic lights. Over the years, both entities have applied GIS maps and data for crowd control, security, and traffic management of major events.
"We have 50 different datasets on the map, from the footprint of the stadium, all the businesses, the lights and cameras, the traffic data feed, 911 calls, traffic from Uber and Lyft rideshare, and the location of Cobb County vehicles," said Jennifer Lana, GIS manager at Cobb County Government.
For the 2021 World Series in Atlanta, Georgia, Cobb County officials needed real-time location intelligence to secure the games and plan a victory parade.
Cobb County officials leveraged their geographic information system (GIS) technology ArcGIS Enterprise and ArcGIS Mission for their command center.
Cobb County officials ensured crowd safety, earned recognition by the Major League Baseball (MLB) technical team, and empowered the successful execution of the victory parade while avoiding preplanning bad luck.
For the 2021 World Series games and parades, this comprehensive data displayed on GIS maps and apps played a vital role in helping Cobb County officials and police department staff keep crowds safe.
A long-standing superstition in baseball holds that planning celebrations before the World Series concludes invite bad luck. So Cobb County officials held off on planning a parade route or celebration.
After the Braves' final win, Cobb County command center staff only had 35 hours to organize a celebration party for more than 350,000 guests and create an approved route for the parade procession. Moreover, the command center and officers on the ground would need real-time operational intelligence to manage the parade security.
Historically, Cobb County Police ensured safety by visualizing the location and condition of every traffic light and camera around the ballpark, including 70 live feed cameras over critical intersections, pathways, and the entertainment district. The data was visualized in an easy-to-read format using ArcGIS Dashboards with other integrated technologies.
Jeremy "J. D." Lorens, a lieutenant in charge of traffic management at the Cobb County Police Department, oversees traffic management at the ballpark and runs the control center. Using GIS and dashboards, Lorens and his team can monitor crowd control by using the data to synchronize the flow of vehicle and pedestrian traffic during regular games.
Having seen firsthand how location intelligence has helped Cobb County staff in the past, the department trained additional users during the playoff run. With the robust infrastructure in place, Lorens turned to the county's team of GIS specialists to help him quickly and efficiently plan the parade celebrations.
For Cobb County officials, GIS provided real-time information and communication channels inside the stadium, for traffic and operations, and overall campus security. The toolset that helped ensure a well-provisioned stadium security setup and overcome unanticipated crowds was ArcGIS Mission. As an all-inclusive command and control software solution, ArcGIS Mission streamlines operations while providing teams tactical situational awareness of an operating environment.
In employing ArcGIS Mission, the incident commanders in the operations center could make tactical resource assignments and get real-time updates from the field, then share information across teams. According to Lana, ArcGIS Mission was an invaluable tactical tool, guiding public safety responses to incidents involving unruly behavior during the games.
"Undercover officers are in a unique situation because they don't have radios, but everyone on the planet has a smartphone, and nobody is going to think twice about someone looking at a map on their phone," Lana said. "On the app, officers could see each other and where a dangerous situation was happening, and in the command center, we knew no officer could get lost in the crowds."
To help with the time-sensitive parade planning, Lorens worked with the county's GIS specialists. They used detailed maps outside of the stadium for planning the parade route including recommendations for where to place barricades and where to narrow lanes.
Additionally, officer locations were tracked and shared back to the command center during the parade and displayed on GIS dashboards. Utilizing location intelligence empowered incident commanders to see where each asset was for emergencies and barricade removal as the procession passed.
For the Cobb County public safety team, applying GIS and ArcGIS Mission was critical to ensuring the safety and management of traffic conditions during the World Series games and victory parade. Cobb County not only ensured crowd safety but won the attention of the Major League Baseball (MLB) technical team.
"[MLB staff] could walk into any conference room, and with just a click, they could see dashboards with maps showing the location of security staff, live traffic, and 911 calls," Lana said. "They hadn't seen dynamic data that was so accessible before."
The success of the World Series games and parade provides a blueprint for Cobb County to employ GIS as a method for public events moving forward. And for Lorens, maps will be a tool he will utilize for continued traffic improvement. "I plan to build out the map of where we had bottlenecks and where we responded with more staff, and I'll keep that in my back pocket."
ArcGIS Mission allowed Cobb County officials to demonstrate championship crowd expertise. With the Atlanta Braves core of young standout players, there is hope for another World Series win and celebration that Cobb County staff will be ready to meet while avoiding the bad luck of preplanning victory.