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Venue Safety and Security

Venue safety expert Steve Adelman

Steve Adelman: Advocating for
Safe Venues and Events

Unlike general personal injury lawyers, Steve Adelman is specifically knowledgeable about the safety and security issues facing a broad spectrum of entertainment venues and public accommodations.

Through the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), Mr. Adelman has taught thousands of students as a member of the faculty of its Academy for Venue Safety & Security. He is the creator of IAVM's Facility Management Law School, which addresses risk management, litigation, and contract and insurance matters particular to stadiums, arenas, concert venues, hotels and convention centers. And he a leader of the Event Safety Alliance, which formed in the wake of the 2011 Indiana State Fair tragedy to address the need for universal safety standards regarding the production of live entertainment events.

Mr. Adelman is a frequent contributor to publications dealing with venue safety and security, and he has given presentations to audiences across North America.

He is also the author of "Adelman on Venues," a monthly newsletter discussing the legal implications of breaking stories in sports and entertainment. Order your free subscription.


Risk Mitigation for Public Assembly Facilities

By opening their doors to crowds looking to leave their cares behind for a precious few hours, even the best-run stadiums, arenas, hotels, performing arts centers and convention facilities will eventually experience safety and security challenges.

Generally, the law first requires public assembly facilities to engage in a reasonable risk assessment of the issues that could arise with each event. Then the venue must implement safety and security practices that are consistent with the applicable standard of care. Both are essential. As usual, the devil is in the details.

The risks a venue might face are a function of many variables, which management must prioritize in terms of vulnerabilities, threats, and likely consequences. Consider some of these typical issues:

  • Crowd management, such as how the venue handles ingress, egress, and ejections

  • Security, including the number of personnel, training, and post positions

  • Concert issues, such as moshing, crowd surfing and managing general admission areas

  • Dram shop issues, including training and monitoring of alcohol servers

Many of these issues are discussed in Steve Adelman's venue safety articles, some of which are listed below.

Life Safety

"A Reasonably Hard Shell: Making Your Venue Safe, Secure and Prepared to Handle a Crisis," Facility Manager, December/January 2013

"The Rebirth of Fenway," NFP Journal, July/August 2012

Concerts: Hot Fun in the Summertime, Adelman on Venues, June 2011

'Open the Doors!': The Problem of Ingress, Facility Manager, August-September 2009

Won't Get Fooled Again: Litigating Crowd Crush Cases, Trial, June 2004

Dram Shop Liability

'I'll Drink to That': Minimizing the Risk of Intoxicated Patrons, Facility Manager, August-September 2010

To Serve and Protect: The Problem of Underage Drinking, Venue Safety & Security, Summer 2007

Risk Management

"Ray Rice, False Ignorance and the 'New Privacy,'" Adelman on Venues, September 2014

"What Does It Mean to Be 'Reasonable'?" Adelman on Venues, February 2014

"Event Litigation ... from a Trial Lawyer's Vantage Point," Adelman on Venues, January 2014

"Allied in Safety," NFPA Journal, July/August 2013

"'What We've Got Here Is a Failure to Communicate,'" Adelman on Venues, June 2013

"The 'Baseball Rule' and Ticket Disclaimers," Adelman on Venues, March 2013

"Rules to Live By: Statutes, Codes and Treatises," Facility Manager, August/September 2011

The Legal Implications of Risk Management (presentation), Academy for Venue Safety & Security, August 2007


"Comparative Fault and Individual Responsibility," Adelman on Venues, September 2014

'Can I?' Versus 'Should I?' Adelman on Venues, November 2011

What Good Is a Lawyer if the Answer to Every Question Is, "It Depends"?, Adelman on Venues, October 2011

A Matter of Opinion: How to Choose an Expert Witness, Facility Manager, February-March 2011

The Modern Civil Justice System, Class in America: An Encyclopedia (Greenwood Press, 2007)

Freedom of Speech

The Right to Remain Silent, Adelman on Venues, April 2012



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The act of visiting or communicating with the Adelman Law Group, PLLC, via this website or by email does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Communications from non-clients via this website are not subject to client confidentiality or attorney-client privilege. Further, the articles and other discussion contained in this website are offered as general guidance only and are not to be relied on as specific legal advice. For legal advice on a specific matter, please consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in that area. Steven A. Adelman practices law only in the jurisdictions where he is admitted. This website is regulated by the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct.