You can’t make this up, per PR Newswire:
National Weather Service Certifies Little Caesars Arena, Comerica Park And Four Other Concert And Sports Venues As ‘StormReady’
Ilitch Holdings and Olympia Entertainment partner with Michigan State Police, Oakland University and Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties to earn certification from the National Weather Service
Partnership across Southeast Michigan’s emergency response organizations key in building storm readiness program
Specially-trained weather spotters track weather conditions during events.
DETROIT, Oct. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Metro Detroit’s major sports and entertainment venues are now certified to spot, report and prepare for a wide range of weather conditions. “The National Weather Service (NWS) now recognizes Ilitch Holdings, Inc. as “StormReady” for Olympia Entertainment’s major event venues both owned and operated by Olympia Entertainment.” The sites include Little Caesars Arena, Comerica Park, DTE Energy Music Theatre, Meadow Brook Amphitheatre at Oakland University, the historic Fox Theatre and the Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill.
The StormReady certification brings together emergency managers from federal law enforcement groups to county leadership across Southeast Michigan, including Michigan State Police, Wayne State and Oakland universities, among others. Together, they collaborate to ensure the safety and security of visitors at the region’s major sports and entertainment venues.
“StormReady encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness,” said Richard Pollman, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS weather forecast office in White Lake, Michigan. “StormReady provides communities with improved communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property – before and during the event.”
With more than 50 specially-trained weather spotters, the six venues are continuously monitored for signs of inclement weather.
“We put in a great deal of behind-the-scenes effort to help ensure the best possible guest experience at our venues,” said Chris Granger, Group President for Sports and Entertainment at Ilitch Holdings, Inc. “With the National Weather Service in the lead, this program helps many organizations collaborate across the region to help ensure our guests always have a great experience at both indoor and outdoor venues.”
The nationwide StormReady weather preparedness program helps local communities develop plans to handle severe weather conditions. The program provides communities across the country with recommended processes to coordinate between the region’s National Weather Forecast office and state and local emergency managers and businesses that oversee security and weather preparedness.
Last year, Little Caesars Arena, home of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, received the SAFETY Act Certification, the highest level of protection awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Managed and operated by Olympia Entertainment, Little Caesars Arena is the first combined NHL, NBA and entertainment venue to earn the certification. Comerica Park, home to the MLB’s Detroit Tigers, received the SAFETY Act Certification in 2015.
“Obtaining StormReady certification demonstrates our commitment to protecting our patrons and staff,” said Rick Fenton, Vice President of Security for Ilitch Holdings, Inc. “The StormReady certification is also part of our continuous effort to improve our SAFETY Act certification.”
To be recognized as StormReady, a site must:
- Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center
- Have more than one method to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the public
- Create a system that monitors local weather conditions
- Promote the importance of public readiness through multiple outreach efforts
- Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises
StormReady began in 1999 and today includes over 2,700 communities in the United States. Ilitch Holdings, Inc. becomes the eighth commercial entity in Michigan to earn the StormReady designation. The recognition will last for three years.