Security firms watch social media for feisty fans

Topics: From the Wires, ,

Security firms watch social media for feisty fansIn this photo taken on March 16, 2014, Bill Hefler, of ESG Security, looks up to the stands during a time out in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game between Ohio State and Michigan in the semifinals of the Big Ten Conference tournament in Indianapolis. Security firms charged with protecting college and professional sports venues are monitoring social media more than ever to prepare for everything from a garden-variety court storming to something much more dangerous. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)(Credit: AP)

Watch what you tweet, sports fans.

Security firms are turning to social media to figure out whether or not there’s an increased risk of fans storming the court or becoming feisty during sports events.

Officials say the practice of watching online chatter before a big game can help them tap into the mindset of a crowd, and helps them make decisions about how many guards to deploy at a venue.

Firms won’t say if they’re watching fans’ chatter during the NCAA basketball tournament. But Whelan Security, which helped secure the Metrodome in Minneapolis during the Vikings’ final game there in December, says it checked online chatter to find out if fans were planning to storm the field and steal souvenirs.

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