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Mass gathering at a sporting event: Crowd

management at Wankhede stadium,

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Science in Disaster Management

Submitted by:

Ramesh Ramhit Tripathi

Under the guidance of:

Dr. Biswanath Dash

Jamshetji Tata Center for Disaster Management

Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Jamshetji Tata Centre for Disaster Management

Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Mass gathering at a sporting event: Crowd

Management at Wankhede stadium,
Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Science in Disaster Management

Ramesh Ramhit Tripathi


I, Ramesh Ramhit Tripathi, hereby declare that the research titled, Mass gathering at a
sporting event: Crowd management at Wankhede stadium, Mumbai, has been done by me,
under the guidance Dr. Biswanath Dash, Jamshetji Tata Centre for Disaster Management,
Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India. This research is original and has never
formed the basis for the award of any degree, diploma or certificate of this or any other
university previously to the best of my knowledge.

Ramesh Ramhit Tripathi

Dr. Biswanath Dash


Assistant Professor
Jamshetji Tata Center for Disaster Management
Tata Institute of Social Sciences

This is to certify that the dissertation entitled Mass gathering at a sporting event: crowd
management at Wankhede stadium, Mumbai is the record of original work done by Ramesh
Ramhit Tripathi under my guidance. The results of the research presented in this dissertation
have not previously formed the basis for the award of any degree, diploma or certificate of
this or any other university.

Dr. Biswanath Dash


Assistant Professor
Jamshetji Tata Center for Disaster Management
Tata Institute of Social Sciences


As I sum up draft of my research, I appreciatively reminisce the contribution of all those
people without their contribution; this research would have never taken its present form.
First and foremost, I would like to extend my gratitude and genuine appreciation to my guide,
Dr. Biswanath Dash, for his help and support, beneficial suggestion in completion of this

I would like to express my acknowledgement to all who gave any kind of support and
information to me in completing this research. I would also like to thank all members of
JTCDM, TISS for their time, co-operation and assistance.

My sincere thanks must go to my family and friends for their support, words and insight that
guided and shaped my life.
Lastly, I am thankful to that power that always inspires me to take right step in the journey of
success of our life.

Ramesh Ramhit Tripathi


Table of contents
Chapter 1- Introduction.1
1.1 Background of the study..1
1.2 Research questions..5
1.3 Research Aim and Objectives.6
1.4 Research Design.6

Methodology..7 Limitations to the study.....9 Ethical Concerns.10
1.5 Scope of the study10
1.6 Importance and Contribution of research.................................................................................10
1.7 Research Focus.10
1.8 Chapter Outline11

Chapter 2- Literature Review......12

2.1 Mass gathering..12
2.2 Sporting event and location of mass gathering.13
2.3 Crowd and its management14
2.4 Understanding crowd at a mass gathering.17
2.5 Sporting Event Disaster Two case studies...22
2.5.1 Changing Crowd Behaviour...24
2.5.2 Lack of crowd management and control25
2.5.3 Learning from past sporting event disasters..27
2.6 Analytical Framework ..27
Chapter-3 Wankhede Stadium Profile and Crowd Management during IPL matches33
3.1 Wankhede Stadium Profile.34
3.2 Location of Wankhede Stadium.35

3.3 History of Wankhede Stadium.36

3.4 Infrastructure of Wankhede Stadium...37
3.4.1 Traditional Wankhede stadium.38
3.4.2 Modern Wankhede Stadium.38
3.5 Crowd Management at the Wankhede Stadium during IPL Matches.40
Chapter 4 Analysis.43
4.1 Data collection challenges...44
4.2 Summary..45
4.3 Analysis of the data collected..46
Chapter-5 Discussion and Conclusion...51
5.1 Discussion....51
5.2 Conclusion...54
Annexure 1.1.58
Annexure 1.2.62

List of Figures and Tables

Figure 1: Case Study Design7
Figure 2: The Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough...23
Figure 3: Inclusive framework for Human Stampede Risk Reduction29
Figure 4: Inclusive framework for Human Stampede Risk Reduction Framework for Mass
Gathering Occurrences.30
Figure 5: Google Earth image with entry points to the Wankhede stadium.34
Figure 6: Aerial View of Modern Wankhede stadium..35
Figure 7: Stands of Wankhede Stadium36
Figure 8: Three tier bucket seating view at the Wankhede stadium stand....36
Figure 9: Construction of Wankhede stadium in 1974 and the completed stadium.37
Figure 10: Redevelopment of Wankhede stadium through removal of hard bench seats38

Table 1: List of major crowd disasters happened at a sporting event around the world.2
Table 2: List of motivational factors explaining why people go to watch sporting event ..20


Chapter 1
1.1 Background of the study
Large numbers of people are seen commonly at places like markets, shopping malls, stadiums
etc. Assembling of people at one place for a definite period of time are perceived as mass
gathering. WHO (2008, 7) describes the phenomenon of Mass gathering as an organised or
unplanned event where the number of people attending is sufficient to strain the planning and
response resources of the community, state or nation hosting the event. During such
gathering, there is always an element of risk pertaining to peoples' safety. Event organizers
are responsible to plan for such gathering in order to provide adequate safety to those in
attendance. Mass gathering can be at religious places, railway station, rock concert, sporting
events, political rallies etc. Often they are planned though it can be spontaneous for example
religious leader funeral. In case of planned gatherings, event can be recurrent at different
locations like mega sporting event such as world cup or Olympics or at the same location
such as Khumbh Mela, Hajj pilgrim or annual sporting event.

Mass gathering are characterized by the nature of underlying event. Rock concerts are for
example always loud and boisterous, during which participants are more likely to engage in
not-so-sober behaviours, a religious event, such as a temple visit, would have altogether
different characteristics. Further, nature of the event also influences the characteristics of the
participants i.e. who come to participate, from where, which cultural background, extent of
diversity amongst them etc. For example, religious and family-oriented events tend to have
participants at the extremes of age, who may have increased susceptibility to large number of
people around them. So, every mass gathering shows a different kind of interest of the people
for which they gather in large numbers.
Sporting event is an integral social process which brings together players, teams, spectators,
volunteers and organizers. Sporting event is seen as a venue where players or team compete
against each other in order to win the competition. This event generally attracts lots of
spectators from various backgrounds to watch the event. The reasons for which the large
number of spectators gather to watch sports event within a closed or open enclosure varies
like fun, entertainment, support for team etc. So sporting event is also a location of mass

gathering with a distinct risk of stampede related disaster. Efraim Kramer, Professor of
Emergency Medicine at Wits University Medical School and a FIFA Medical Officer, says:
the crowded stadium during a match can be likened to a small city in terms of the size and
composition of the attending spectator population. The venue is designed to house a limited
capacity of people with safe and accessible egress and ingress. Whenever the number of
people increases beyond the acceptable limit or there is a movement of people happening
before, during or after the event within the stadium, the resultant force can cause human
triggered emergencies like stampede having potential fatal consequences.
There have been many stadium related incident in the past where people who love and live
for the most popular sport in the world have died as a result of it. Since 1902 approximately
1,900 spectators are known to have died and 8,800 have been injured in stadium stampedes.
Few of the crowd disasters in a stadium have been formulated with their cause in Table 1.1.
Table 1.1 List of major crowd disasters happened at a sporting event around the world



Ibrox Stadium- Scotland






vs. A wooden terrace 26





Burden Park- FA cup match

Two metal crush 33



barriers broke due



to Overcrowding


Peru vs. Argentina Cancellation

Qualifying Match


of Over

More than 500

goal and beating of 300

angry fans led to



Ibrox Stadium- Football match

Falling of people 66 were over 200 injured


while exiting


UEFA cup match

Stadium -


Falling of People 66

in a crush
More than 100

near Exit gate


Valley Parade Third


Division Blaze engulfed in 56

Football match

the main stand






final Match

Cup Riots


out 39





overcrowding and
pushing each other


Hillsborough - FA Cup semifinal

Crush- poor crowd 96



Stade Furiani- Coupe de France Temporary

stand 18








qualifier between forced their way

More than 700


Cup Thousands of fans 3

Liberia and Chad


Many injured




Sports Football

league Crowd

Stadium-Accra match

trouble 127

More than 100

broke out led to





Said Football





match Fans entering the 74


Al- ground


Al- beating


More than 1000

and supporters

The above stampedes instances which have occurred at different stadium in the last century
have been compiled from various studies with an aim to point out the dimension of the
specific problem under investigation. It is plausible that many of the above could have been
prevented if there were proper risk assessment as part of mitigation measures. Kramer thus
most aptly indicates prevention of stadium stampedes is often possible where a review and
analysis of the causes of previous events is undertaken and risk potential eliminated through
adequate measures. To prevent disasters related to stadium mass gathering, there are areas
where researchers need to carry out studies so that spectators are able to watch sporting
events without any interruption or danger to their lives. It is therefore necessary for all
stadium management or organizers to be prepared for any possible event, to prevent if

possible, or to adequately handle, unexpected crowd disturbance before, during and after
every sporting event.
Authur Nabulsi in his study said Crowds are often blamed for the accident when postmortem analysis shows causality to be bad design, poor information or miss-management as
the root cause of mass fatalities. (Nabulsi, 2009, pg 4) (Italics Added). This has been true in
most of the incidents happened in the past related to sporting event at most part of the world.
During mass gathering of the people, there have been improper management by the
authorities due to lack of planning for the expected number of people. So, understanding
crowd disturbances along with the crowd management from the organizers during sporting
event can give better insight about the issues related to stadium disasters.

In spite of hockey being the national game of India, cricket has been the most popular sport in
the country. When Indian cricket team won the 1983 cricket world, people in large numbers
started playing and this was further boosted with the advent of television coverage in mid
1980s prompting watching of cricket event either live at ground or on television at home. The
lovers and followers of the game kept increasing and so also the number of venues. There are
more than 40 cricket stadiums built in the country in order to host international and national
matches for the cricket teams. Some of them have been established with international
standards and facilities, while few of them need much improvement. With improvement in
the living standards of people and better facilities available at the stadium, more and more
people of all ages have been coming to the stadium for watching a cricket match live. Each
year approximately ten international cricket matches are played in India apart from the (in)
famous Indian Premier League (IPL) popularly called T20 tournament. The latter is held over
a period of two months every year and are mostly played in the big metropolitan cities. The
rise of Indian middle class in terms of their disposable income, effective marketing of the
event and affordable ticket rates have resulted in large attendance for each of these matches.
The event has been successful for last seven years where cricket players from different
international teams of the world have participated. It has been an important source of
economy for various stakeholders and employment opportunities to few involved in the
event. With such great involvement of high profile of players, owners and celebrities, it has
become an important mass gathering event in the country.

During IPL matches, there is a great deal of planning involved in order to manage spectators
present within the stadium. Different departments are involved in managing this large number
of people in which roles and responsibilities vary. Overall during any such management
exercise, safety of the people remains prime concern. The hosting of event at a stadium starts
typically from proper detailing of location, understanding the purpose of gathering, time and
duration of the event, identification of risk factors, planning and coordination, risk measures
initiation, drills and trainings etc. The approach by the event management have been
successful till now in handling mass gathering at the sport event like IPL as there have been
no major crowd related disasters at any of the stadium. However, we know disasters are
unpredictable and a small error in management can lead to far bigger undesirable
The present study is aimed at examining crowd behaviour during a cricket sporting event and
crowd management practices at the Wankhede stadium during Indian Premier League
matches. This will help in understanding the factors which can lead to crowd disturbance
during the event and improving the management techniques for the crowd in the Indian
context or other places in the world. On the basis of the literature review and data collection,
there would be suggestions related to the crowd and its management at the sporting event.
1.2 Research questions
The questions with which this study is engaged are varied and from different standpoint. For
example, why do people come to such sporting event when they can watch the same at home
on television or what motivates them to come to a stadium for a sporting event? Why do
'people' need to be managed at a stadium? Can there be self-regulation? What are the
psychological and social factors which can result in violent behaviour? How do we examine
the spectator behaviour and response during any stampede like incident? How can one
examine the management approach to such gathering in a stadium? Can we evaluate the
response mechanism in case of any incident related to large crowd i.e. stampede?

1.3 Aim and Objective

Research Aim:
To examine disaster risks associated with mass gathering with a focus on sporting event and
explore crowd management practices.
Research Objective:

To study the management strategies employed to maximise crowd safety within the
Wankhede cricket stadium.

To study the risk factors of stampede during sporting event and measures initiated to
manage such disaster risk.

To draw general factors for gathering of large number of people within a closed

1.4 Research Design

For the purpose of this study, the research is divided into four phases, namely:
1. Literature review;
2. Case study;
3. Primary data collection;
4. Analysis

1.4.1 Methodology
The research methodology which will be adopted during the study is explained in this
section. There is no absolute or most desirable research method that fits every kind of
research argument (Bailey, 1982). It is basically concerned with the methodology adopted for
doing literature review, primary and secondary data collection and their analysis. Literature
review was carried out in order to understand and get information related to the objective of
the study. The case study of Wankhede stadium, Mumbai was selected based on the scope of
work related to mass gathering during IPL or international matches. Field research involved
conducting various semi structured interviews with the spectators during match, MCA
officials, MCA crowd managers, MCGM Disaster Management cell, Mumbai police,

Bombay hospital etc. which are involved in operation and management of mass gatherings at
the venue. It was important to understand their roles and responsibilities in line with the
objective of the study.
This research is undertaken as there has been very little or no study carried out to examine the
crowd management during the mass gathering within a cricket stadium, particularly in an
Indian context where the cricket has been so popular in last few decades.

Mass gathering at a sporting event:

Crowd Management at Wankhede stadium, Mumbai

Research Questions, Aim and Objectives

Data Collection
(Case Study)
Literature review, Journals, Articles,
reports, Documentation Archival
Record of Case studies of Sporting
event disasters

Semistructure Interview
Participant Observation

Data Collection Analysis

Discussion and Conclusion

Figure 1: Case Study Design

The study initially reviewed relevant literature to identify gaps and an analytical framework
for data analysis. It focused on secondary sources to collate pertinent data and develop tools
for primary data collection. Field work was carried out during the months of April-September
2014, where data was collected through semi structured questionnaire and through participant
observation. The perspective of the spectators and various crowd managers will help us to
understand the overall nature of a mass gathering at a sporting event. A case of Wankhede
stadium will help us to draft out numerous dimensions and actors in underlying premises to
manage a large crowd in an enclosed structure. The adequate data collected was analysed to
form findings related to the objectives of the study.
Qualitative methods
The research is qualitative using mainly two techniques: semi structured interviews and
participant observation.
Field work area
To achieve the research objectives and answer the research questions, the method of the study
used the case of Wankhede stadium, Mumbai which was helpful in analysing data related to
mass gathering. There are two other international cricket stadiums in Mumbai i.e. Brabourne
stadium and D.Y Patil cricket stadium (nerul) along the Wankhede stadium. These stadiums
rarely host or are provided with international or IPL matches due to their lesser capacity or
distance from the hotels of players and other actors. Wankhede stadium has been hosting IPL
matches for Mumbai Indians over the years, so to carry out research of mass gathering at a
sporting event, selection of Wankhede stadium was found to be appropriate.
Use of Secondary data
Secondary data was collected from a wide range of literature, as well as articles, books,
newspaper reports, statistics, design plans, technical reports, etc. It was useful to gather
information and understand issues related to the research area before carrying out primary
data collection.
Sampling methods
Sampling is defined as a method of studying few selected items from the entire big number of
units or quantity. The small selected items is called sample. The large number of items of
units of particular or different characteristics is called population. Selection of the samples

depends on the nature of the study. The existing study uses purposive and convenience
sampling for the collection of data. Purposive sampling was used to collect data from various
line department involved in managing crowd at Wankhede stadium. Convenience sampling is
a non-probability sampling technique where subjects are selected because of their convenient
accessibility and proximity to the researcher. Example: sample friends, co-workers, or
shoppers at a single mall, are all examples of convenience sampling. So for interviewing
spectators during IPL match, convenience sampling was used to collect data related to few of
the research questions. There were no criteria stated for selecting the respondent from the
overall crowd present within the stadium. The respondents were from various part of the city
or from outside city and belong to different age group and gender.
Primary data
Semi- structured interviews and participant observations were the primary methods used in
this research to collect the required data. Interviews are mostly one of the methods by which
primary data are obtained The officials in charged in handling crowd at the stadium were
interviewed to understand the strategies they deploy to manage efficiently. Each respondent
had managed crowd in the stadium for many matches in their period of work. Data which
was collected incorporated the themes and topics that were identified as important within the
literature. Limitations to the study

The study based on mass gathering at a stadium deals with the understanding of the crowd
management practices and understanding crowd at a sporting event for an emergency
incident. However this is only for the insight but it cannot be generalised as the better
management strategies in the subject matter as management of crowd will change from
stadium to stadium. The sample size taken for the study is small so the analysis of the data
collected from spectators cannot be generalized to be accurate as the study is qualitative in
nature. The gaps and suggestions mentioned in the study have been provided through various
literatures which can be useful for the future improvements. The perspective gathered from
various interviews helps in analysing their roles and responsibilities in broader aspects and
there was a great relation between various actors regarding their roles, however there was
some degree of differences.

10 Ethical Concerns

The researcher during his study always assured the respondents that the data collected is for
academic purposes. Few of the spectators were concerned about disclosing their identities.
They were assured that their identities will be not disclosed. The researcher had always taken
prior appointments to meet officials of the departments required for the study. The time of the
interview was fixed according to the respondent permission as it should disrupt his regular
work. The documents and images taken from any departments have been obtained with their
permissions to publish.
1.5 Scope of the study
India being a sport loving countries has never faced any crowd related disasters at the sport
events in the past. This study using the case of Wankhede stadium will be useful to examine
the crowd and its management strategies deployed to manage large crowd surge for a cricket
match. Understanding the roles and responsibilities assigned to various stakeholders can help
to examine the mechanism used to manage such mass gathering.

1.6 Importance and contribution of research

The importance of the research study is derived from the study of crowd dynamics
management during sporting event which is limited worldwide. There is an increasing need to
understand the crowd behaviour and management in such mass gathering so as prepare for
better crowd safety. As the stadium disasters are increasing around the world which involves
mass gathering of people, it emphasizes this need.

1.7 Research Focus

During initial review of literature it was found that crowd behaviour is not sole factor for the
cause of related disasters. There are other defining factors which can lead to violent crowd
behaviour such as the lack of proper crowd management from the organizers. The pilot study
of the researcher resulted in interest to investigate the opinions of some professional
managers regarding their knowledge and practice of human behaviour and their management
in mass gathering at Wankhede stadium. The case of Wankhede stadium is taken as there has
been no crowd related incident happened in the past during the sporting event. So, examine
their management strategies to manage such large gathering along with understanding crowd


at such a sporting event can provide necessary base for planning crowd management in global
The research study is divided into two areas; the first area examines the crowd management
at the Wankhede stadium during IPL matches and the second part concerns with the
information related to crowd at a sporting event. The study will be useful to understand the
common psychological and social factors of the spectators which can result in violent
behaviour and prepare for future crowd safety design.
1.7 Chapter Outline
Chapter 1: focuses on the background to the study, and has described the research aim,
problem and question. It has also provided research design along with the scope and
importance of the study.

Chapter 2: literature review for concept of mass gathering, crowd dynamics and behaviour
along with what constitutes a crowd and crowd management at the sporting event. The case
of two stadium disaster i.e. Hillsborough stadium and Ellis park stadium have been studied to
link the above themes or concepts within it. The analytical frameworks for the stampede risk
reduction during mass gathering has also been illustrated in this chapter.

Chapter 3: The Wankhede stadium profile is provided along with the management strategies
deployed by the event organizers and crowd managers during IPL matches.

Chapter 4: Data collected from the primary sources are analysed and presented.
Chapter 5: Discussions related to the analysis and conclusion along with the necessary
suggestions will be outlined for further studies.


Literature Review

2.1 Mass gathering

The term mass gatherings is defined in many ways and has attracted attention from number
of research scholars and practitioners. The defining factor in any such conception of mass
gathering is found to be the total number of attendees. This in a sense directs the focus to how
a 'gathering' becomes a 'mass gathering'. At the same time, total number of people attending
an event can be seen synomonous with the amount of interest a mass gathering elicits. Study
of mass gatherings is fledgling field of inquiry and is presently at a stage where the past
knowledge gained about the complex interrelationships between various factors pertaining to
large number of people, location and time are considered to unravel key elements underlying
the idea of mass gathering.
World Health Organization (WHO, 2008) in its report Communicable disease alert and
response for mass gatherings defines mass gathering as more than a specified number of
persons at a specific location for a specific purpose for a defined period of time.(Italics
added) The number of persons however is flexible that may vary from few thousands to
hundreds of thousands. Arbon (2007) on the other hand stretches the number of attendees
further upward, defining the concept as, the organised events taking place within a defined
space, attended by a large number of people usually 25,000 or more.
Such definitions broadly points out that, in mass gathering the number of people gather at a
specific location for a finite amount of time with a specific purpose. In fact location
specificity has been consistently emphasized denoting thereby the spatial dimension
involved. The location however can be specified only for planned event, and as evidenced in
the past, mass gathering can take place randomly at any place and sometime very quickly.
While threshold with respect to number of people, who need to congregate, remains
ambiguous, the idea of bringing in parameter such as number of person per square meter to
define mass gathering is still to become popular. Similarly mass gathering is said to happen
for a specific duration of time, however during the religious gathering, people gather in large
number for the visit which happens throughout the year. In the light of the above


inconsistency, it becomes imperative to understand the mass gathering concepts and come
into broader understanding of it.
Public health aspect is also considered by many institutions and researchers in
conceptualizing mass gathering as they feel the need to plan for public health during any
mass gathering event. This is important as the mass gathering of people leads to respiratory
problems. Shafia et al (2008) thus observes the inevitable overcrowding in a confined area of
such large numbers increases the risk of respiratory infections. So there is always a higher
risk to public health from non-communicable disease, such as crush injuries, to infectious
agents during mass gathering so health aspects are considered when defining the term mass
gathering by health associations.
2.2 Sporting event and location of mass gathering
Sports have an element of competition to which participant engage in order to prove their
talent against their opponent. Presently, more than hundred forms of sports exist, from those
requiring only two participants, to hundreds of participants, competing individually or as
team of various sizes. When such competition takes place within an enclosure be it open
space or closed, it leads to the idea of sporting event. They attract people in large number and
are also an excellent way to stimulate tourism and generate revenues for host communities.
Hosted for various sports like cricket, football, spectators come to such events in large
numbers to watch and often the gathering requires planning from the event organisers. It
requires advanced planning at all level for providing safe atmosphere to the spectators or
fans. Management helps in understanding the possible risk factor present at any such big
sporting event and suggests ways to minimise these risks along with better operational

Crowd and its management

The idea to defining crowd dates back to late 18th century when Le bon (1896) believed that
people in mixed crowds are no longer themselves, but suffer a loss of individuality and
develop a 'crowd mind'. These emotions of people which in due course was further exploited.
Le bon also mentioned that crowds are of two types, one homogenous where individuals
belonging to same social group, the other is heterogeneous or mixed crowds. These are
individuals from diverse backgrounds, all acting in agreement or unison, but they require
some external control to keep them together. They can suddenly materialise to show their
opposition to any injustice with their attitude and beliefs. With so many other definitions


coming from sociologist over the years, the theory of crowd kept varying among them.
According to McPhail (1992, pp. 238-240) crowd refers to two or more persons engaged in
one or more behaviours judged common or concerted in one or more dimensions. Crowd as
a conception have never been derived for an individual person, it has always been defined for
two or more people joining to become a crowd or part of a crowd. Crowd is also defined as
people acting together in the pursuit of common interests (Tilly, 1978, 7). The above
definitions have been formed in relation to collective behaviour of individuals to achieve the
common goal or interest characterizing the gathering itself. The way individuals behave when
present as part of a gathering may change from their normal behaviour or at least some of
them act in a different manner. Musse and Thalmann (1997, 39) observe: the individuals in a
crowd may act in a different way than when they are alone or in a small group. In other
words, individual can get influenced by other members of crowds when their motivation for
gathering needs to be accomplished. It is well known that when their interest or goal is not
achieved through the mass gathering, they might start to behave in a manner which may not
be a common in the social atmosphere. The concept of the crowd was further supported by
author Invan Ginneken, (1992) who argued that crowds were largely comprised of people
who were criminal by nature; hence, these individuals could be held personally responsible
for their illegal actions when part of crowds. The earliest debate in emerging crowd theory is
still a concern for the world to conclude whether crowd can be of qualitative aspect of the
collective behaviour of individuals in mass gathering or only a quantitative count of the
The word crowd is also defined to reflect the behaviour of individuals who interacts with
other people in gathering and get influence from one another after being together for longer
than a few moments. They start to perceive one another as us (Myers, 2005, p.305).It show
the group characteristic which gets developed when two or more people join to become a part
of a crowd. They show the key characteristics of group and influence each other as they are
from same background and they share a common interest. They believe that the sharing the
similar interest have made them attend the mass gathering and now achieving their sole
purpose of the gathering should be achieved during large scale of people.

There have been instances when crowd and groups are used interchangeably and more often
than not seen synonyms. However, the definition to group according to oxford dictionary is


A number of people or things that are located, gathered, or classed together: However
group cannot be said to have any common interest or goal unlike crowd. So there is no scope
of making group and crowd as similar. One of study on sports tourism said that Guests and
spectators at the sporting event are the groups that often require greater effort since they are
the most unpredictable (Rahmat et at, 2011). This shows that some researchers feel that
group is a part of a crowd however the reverse doesnt hold true. So studies on crowd or
crowd management will definitely include the concept of groups as groups are found to be
subset of the crowd.
The above theories or studies related to crowd have been one of the difficult tasks for
researchers to conceive and define the meaning of it. There have been major attempts to
reach a consensus on the common definition of term crowd. However with limited boundaries
of studies done by researchers for understanding crowd, the generalizations of the term would
be achieve as there will be more studies on the subject in future.
With regard to the need of crowd management, a study conclude that sports event have been
grown in popularity worldwide because of its special characteristics so its requires
particularly good organizations for the management because the total attendances of
spectators is also increasing (Bjelac, Z. and M. Radovanovic, 2003). Due to this, crowd
management and crowd control are now important issues in handling the sport event as large
gathering of people raises the odds of a dangerous incident related to crowd. So there should
be some key characteristics or advices for better management of crowd at a sporting event.
According to report Understanding crowd behaviour: supporting evidence published by
challenger et al (2009), they have provided key advice for successful crowd management. It

Better planning and preparation according to the capacity of the mass gathering
venue. This includes creating overall venue plan and emergency plan, using a wide
range of what if..? possible scenarios, including the least unexpected.

Adoption of a system wide approach to manage crowd.

Proper coordination mechanism between various agencies involved for managing


Utilisation of management personnel who have plentiful first-hand knowledge, skills

and experience in planning and managing large crowd events.


Communication system both audio and visual for information dissemination with
the whole crowd during emergency situations.

Assigned Leadership role and guidance to initiate crowd movement in emergencies.

Acknowledgement for minor problems occurring within the crowd area which can
together have a significant impact on event success.

According to the California commission on peace officer standards and training, the
guidelines have been prepared for better crowd management, intervention and control.
According to the guidelines provided, when there is a lawful gathering of people for any
event, they should be independently assessed for planning the tactics which will be effective
in providing safety to the crowd at the gathering. Tactics used may sometimes evoke a
positive or negative response as there are very few plans which work according to the
changing circumstances in mass gathering. The agencies utilises the intervention strategies
which depend upon the resources available and nature of the gathering. The guidelines
prepared for crowd management, intervention, and control strategies and tactical
considerations include:

Planning for crowd management incidents at any event should include consideration
of contingencies plan.

Proper communication mechanism should be present for establishing contact with the

Using crowd control and dispersal methods

for the responding effectively post


There should be mechanism to protect critical facilities and continuously provided

access to the facilities like medical services etc. in case of emergency.

Providing a high-visibility law enforcement presence, this will have a major impact to
the behaviour of the crowd as they will have fear of enforcement law in case they
behave in offensive manner.

The above strategies provided above through research and guidelines shows there is always a
need to plan for an event in advance after understanding the gathering purpose, rough
estimated number of people attending the gathering and their interest. This can be helpful to
effectively utilise the available resources and provide the plan and necessary trainings to the
crowd managers in advance of the event.


The need of crowd management has also been supported by one of the premier departments
of disaster management in India. According to the national disaster management authority of
india (NDMA), the important aspects which should be considered while planning for any
event of mass gathering are understanding the visitors to the event, various stake holders and
their needs; Individual Crowd Management Strategies for the particular event; Risk Analysis
and Preparedness plan ; Adequate Information Management and Dissemination; Public
Safety and Security Measures; Facilities(Services) and Emergency Planning; and
Transportation and Traffic Management for the event location (NDMA, 2014).
This key advice have been accepted theoretically widely, however we cannot predict about
the success these considerations will have in practical when used by various event managers
all over the world. But it is always better to plan for any event in advance as you will be
aware of all shortcomings or worst scenarios which you have to handle.
As we are aware that crowding also occurs as a result of an excessively large number of
people gathering in a specified area like sports event at a stadium. At sporting event, the
crowd density is much more as compared to other crowd gathering places like shopping
malls, railway station etc. So there is a high risk involved in terms of safety of the people
which should be managed effectively by the event organisers.
2.4 Understanding crowd at a mass gathering
Early conceptualization of crowd equated it with irrationality and loss of control (Le Bon,
1908). This notion however has evolved over the year from irrational to rarely irrational (e.g.,
Hughes, 2003; Mawson, 2005; Lee & Hughes, 2007). Further crowd is often viewed to
remain organised and cooperative during an emergency situation (e.g., Drury & Winter,
2004; Drury & Cocking, 2007; Cocking & Drury, 2008; Cocking et al., in press; Drury et al.,
in press, in submission). So understanding crowd behaviour becomes one of the important
subjects for the studies as this can be useful in minimising the risk factors arising from them.
According to Ulrich et al (1966, p4) in their study of Control of Human Behaviour suggested
that human behaviour is not amenable to causal description and that the behaviour of every
person is unique and very complex and not predictable." They start to act in a manner which
is not common to them and also to the others in the crowd. According to the National
Disaster Management Authority of India, In a mass gathering, Individual behaviour in a
crowd is sometimes influenced by the behaviour of others (NDMA, 2014) (Italics


Added).They always get boost to act or behave in similar manner as other individuals in the
crowd would be behaving. The illegal actions of a few people in a crowd can result in larger
numbers following them (herding behaviour). During Hillsborough disaster of 1989 (covered
in-depth below), few people started to climb the wall of the stands in order to come out of the
crowd surge. This led to more number of people climbing the wall to escape out or the
additional movement of people towards the wall.
According to author Halabi in his book of overcrowding and the Holy Mosque (2007, p 36)
argues that " research on psychological of crowd has established that one feature of human
behaviour within a crowd is that people prefer to maintain a certain distance from other
people. He said that behaviour of the people in a crowd can change drastically anytime due
to their own interest and level of commitment. With difference of culture, sex, caste etc.
people try to maintain space between them during mass gathering as they are hesitant to
support people from other background. Even though motives and interest of people are same
for the mass gathering, they always feel the need to create their personal space within the
invisible sphere. They act in a manner to maintain their personal space from other people so
that they dont become part of them. The critical size of this space will vary from one person
to another depending upon the individual factors like culture, behaviour, sex etc. Author
believes crowd psychology sometimes make them realise the danger from the other people in
a crowd.
As the author Ulrich et al said that individual behaviour is unique and not predictable within a
crowd, the author Halabi can further be added to the statement that the people prefer to
maintain certain distance from one another. This is because people are unaware of the factors
like culture, behaviour of each other. They also ignore the need of knowing the other people
in the crowd as they know the duration of mass gathering is temporal and they dont have to
meet again with them. They have to just support the cause of gathering and not get to formal
with people around them. In case, they view behaviour from an individual or group in
unlawful manner within a crowd, they should create a safe distance from them and escape out
the venue as early as possible.

According to Reicher (2001, pg.2) Crowds are the elephant man of the social sciences.
They are viewed as something strange, something pathological, and something monstrous. At
the same time they are viewed with awe and with fascination. However, above all, they are


considered to be something apart. We may choose to go and view them occasionally as a

distraction from the business of everyday life, but they are separate from that business and
tell us little or nothing about normal social and psychological realities. The research on the
attitude reflected by the crowd has been remarkable lesser in psychological aspects on crowd
processes. Under social psychology, the need to understand the socio and psychological
behaviour of the spectator need to be studied so as to understand the cause of violent
behaviour. So the idea of usage of 'crowd behaviour ', term in academic studies and normal
day to day lives have greater unpredictability due to the behaviour context of individual or
group within a crowd. There is a bigger contrast to the way the crowds are viewed by
researchers and crowd managers, some feel behaviour of the crowds are due to the social
belonging whereas some feels crowds are responsible for extremely violent behaviour. Both
the views are combination of thought process from various studies done in this subject by the
researchers. So understanding crowd plays an important role during any mass gathering and it
is important to identify and separate the miscreants in the crowd at the earliest as they can be
more dangerous in their approach within a crowd.
According to Still (2000) in his PhD Thesis - Crowd Dynamics (updated 23rd May 2009) has
defined crowd dynamics as: The study where the people move and form a crowd when the
critical density of more than one person per square meter. There is a potential risk for
overcrowding and personal injury at high density. Therefore it is important to understand the
crowd dynamics and how crowd understand and interpret the information systems, how the
resultant crowd behaviour would be at that moment. Crowd dynamics deals with the issue
related to the crowd behaviour of the people within a crowd. It also reflects the psychological
and social factors which creates changes in their behaviour when there is lack of achievement
in their interests. They will try to achieve their interest by acting in different manner due to
factors like devotion of time, money, social interest etc. which makes them very unusual at

In one of the research, the term crowd behaviour is used to mean the motivation and
psychological and social reaction towards the mass gathering (Alnabulsi, 2004, p.3).
Spectators are the key component of a sport events success. Its often unclear to fans or
spectators themselves what initially drives them to be at sport event. So it is important to
understand the motivation and behaviour of the people routinely gathering in large numbers


at a specific design places such as sporting events as these can be useful for assessment of
vulnerability and risk during mass gathering at a stadium. In order to have a better
understanding of the sport spectator behaviour, it is essential to identify the motivational
factors influencing attendance and overall satisfaction (Mullin, Hardy, & Sutton, 2007). This
information will be useful for understanding normal social and psychological realities about
the individuals. It can be considered and necessary safety actions can be added in the
planning and management contexts.
According to various authors mentioned below in the table, there is some kind of
motivational factors which drives the spectator to watch a sports event at the stadium. The
following are the illustrations of the motivations.
Table 2: List of motivational factors explaining why people go to watch sporting event

Scale used to understand

Wann (1995) Sport


Motivational Factors

Motivational 1) eustress [drama],


2) self-esteem,
3) escape [from ordinary life],
4) entertainment,
5) economic [gambling] factors,
6) aesthetics,
7) group affiliation [socialization] and
8) family


and Motivations


Consumer (MSC)


Sport 1) stress release,

2) aggression,
3) risk taking,
4) affiliation,
5) skill mastery,


6) self-esteem,
7) self-actualization,
8) aesthetics,
9) value development,
10) social facilitation,
11) competition and
12) vicarious achievement.


al. Sport Interest Inventory (SII) 1) interest in soccer,

2) interest in player,
3) drama,
4) vicarious achievement,
5) interest in team,
6) national pride,
7) excitement,
8) aesthetics,
9) social opportunities and 10) support for
women's opportunities.

This table in a nutshel indicates that there is no single factor which can be said to be the
driving force for spectators to visit a stadium. However, anyone of these can change the
behaviour of individual or group within a crowd.
Charters and Ali-Knight (2002) used a three-dimensional model in their study to demonstrate
the motivation or reasons for a cricket spectator to watch a specific international match in


South Africa. A five-point scale known as Likert scale was used from (5) extremely
important to (1) not important at all. The highest level of integration was to enjoy the cricket
whereas the lowest level is for business purposes. It appeared about 95% of the spectators
attend the stadium to enjoy the match, followed by reasons such as watching it for fun and to
support their team. The model proposed were used to track the activity and type of behaviour
which a spectator will exhibit on any visit to a match. This study was carried out to enable the
marketer to understand more clearly the motivation and expectation at any given time, how it
can be met effectively. This was useful to cluster reasons for marketing perspective and to
focus on promotion strategy accordingly for increasing the spectator visit to a stadium. The
study did not focus to understand the motivation and behaviour factors for management of
crowd during the match. So the motivation of the spectator will help in analysing the various
aspects which should be considered while planning for mass gathering during a sporting
The above literature have been mostly studied in non-indian context and understanding the
spectator characteristic during sporting event at India will give different insight about the
spectators which believe cricket is also a religion in the country. It has always been used as
mode for political friendship between countries.
2.5 Sporting Event Disaster Two case studies
Sporting event disasters have occurred at the various places in the world from the start of
19th century. Till present days, there have been more than hundreds of disasters which have
resulted in loss of lives of many thousands of people. The case of few stadium disasters have
been specifically chosen to highlight the cause along with the identification of major lessons
which is still retained in the present day for successfully managing crowd during an event. It
is crucial to examine recent crowd disasters so that lessons for future events may be identified
(e.g., Lucas, 1992).
Hillsborough Stadium disaster which happened on 15th April, 1989 during a semi-final
match of FA Cup which was played between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at
Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, England. Tickets to the 24 256 Liverpool fans were
allocated for the West Stand, the Leppings Lane terrace and the North Stand of Hillsborough
football ground. These stands were to be accessed via 23 turnstiles at Leppings Lane. There
was a delay from the spectators in reaching ground and most of them arrived only 30 minutes
prior to the start of the match. This resulted in bottlenecks at the entrance gate around 2:30


pm and 2:40 pm due to build-up of fans at the turnstiles. The congestion overwhelmed the
police as around 5000 spectators tried to enter the stadium through the turnstiles. These
movement of spectators resulted in overcrowding at the west stand leading to crowd unrest.
96 deaths, over 400 were injured due to the overcrowding at one of the stand in the stadium.

Figure 2: The Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough (Still, 2000, p.28)

Similarly, another stadium disaster which happened after a decade of Hillsborough was Ellis
Park disaster in South Africa. The loss of lives and property was comparable to the
Hillsborough stadium disaster in 1989. The disaster happened due to be various reasons
including the improper planning for mass gathering event. On 11th April 2001, the soccer
teams Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates took the field for the league championship game at
Ellis Park stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa. It is one of the premium stadium in the
country with a capacity of about sixty thousand spectators (NGOEPE, 2002). At the start of
the game, sixty thousand capacity stadium was bursting with more than eighty thousand fans


for watching the football game live. The increased number of spectators sat on the stairs,
passage and access way. Outside the stadium, thousands of fans were trying to get inside the
venue to watch countrys two popular clubs gets faceoff with each other. A portion of the
waiting crowd in the north-east stand tried to surge forward. The result was a suffocating
crush amongst the crowd leading to the deaths of forty three persons that included women
and children with many hundreds injured to various extent.
Both the above incidents remain among the worst stadium related disasters in history and
show how a joyful sporting occasion can turn into terrible tragedy. There were various
reasons which led to Hillsborough and Ellis park disaster, for example in both the cases, there
was severe overcrowding, kind of crowd behaviour, lack of information and communication.
There was also lack of crowd management and control by event organisers and police.
2.5.1 Changing Crowd Behaviour
The crowd behaviour for ingress in both the disasters was due to the fact that the police and
crowd managers were not able to manage sudden flow of spectators entering into the stadium.
It was from their part that resulted in havoc like situation outside the stadium. Spectators
started to behave in unlawful manner when they realised that other people in the crowd are
too supporting the interest of others in watching the match inside the stadium. In
Hillsborough stadium, spectators in large number started to enter the stadium by pushing
people in front of them. The front people started to push the people ahead of them. So there
was a large crowd disturbance within the small area around a particular gate (C) of the
stadium as shown in the image above. With the changing behaviour of spectators outside the
entrance gate, few of them managed to enter the stand gate, suddenly there was crowd unrest
within the west stand which already had capacity crowd. So the flow of crowd disturbance
kept on increasing till the ground grills or restriction area of the ground. With no or little
space to move ahead, few people started to climb the wall of the stand in order to escape out
from the crowd unrest. Similarly the analysis of the Ellis stadium disaster reveals that
conditions were beyond the control of spectators when the crowd disturbance happened and
transformed into a land of death and destruction. There was violent behaviour from the crowd
when they suddenly came to know that tickets were sold out for the match. Spectators had
come in from different locations within or outside the city with the interest of watching the
match live at the stadium. However when they were informed that tickets was no more
available at the counter. They behave in a manner which was difficult to manage. They


forcefully opened the perimeter gates, security personnel and ticket booths were attacked.
Individuals became part of groups and groups turned into crowds which were trying to get
inside the stadium even by pushing people with tickets. There was sudden crowd unrest from
spectators within the crowd. It was difficult for the crowd to move in as the passage to the
main stand was full of people and there was continuous pushing from outside along with the
movement of back-forth from inside. This led people falling all over the place. Crowd
behaviour in these situations is unimaginable as all of them have some kind of motivation
which they wanted to fulfil. A big screen facility was proposed outside the stadium in order
to pacify impatient crowds. However, no facility of such screen was provided which made
crowd to move into the venue. If screen facilities would have provided, people might have
not behaved in this manner. The use of teargas or a similar substance to control the crowd led
to more crowd disturbance and created panic situations for many. In various reports, security
personnel were also claimed for accepting money from the spectators to allow them access to
the entrance. This allegation of corruption at the gates made over capacity at the stadium
which turned violent as tickets were not sold at the counter and security personnels were
accepting money more than ticket amount and allowing people to enter the stadium. This
kind of allegation or rumour was spread which might not have been true, however this
become part of changing crowd behaviour and led to crowd disturbance.
2.5.2 Lack of crowd management and control
At Hillsborough stadium, there was failure of police and steward control which were cited as
the main reason for the disaster in the official inquiry (Taylor, 1990). There was a lack of
proper crowd management from stewarding, organisation and crowd filtering meant that there
was increase in number of fans at the turnstiles which was unexpected and crowd pressure
kept mounting outside the ground as soon as the match was about to start. According to the
author Sime(1995), He describe the situation as poor crowd management by stewards and
police inside the ground, resulting in an uneven distribution of people in the terraces, and
ultimately leading to the overcrowding in pens 3 and 4. A crush was inevitable due to the
crowd increase and after some hesitation, Chief Superintendent decided to open an exit gate
(Gate C) for making the fan enter the stadium bypassing the turnstiles. The opening of Gate C
led to a rush of over 2000 supported entering the stand which went overcrowding. There was
no uniformity in distribution of seats as there was lack of crowd managers at the stand. The
push-pull among the fan led to collapse of Barrier 124A resulting in people falling over each
other, being trampled and, ultimately, being crushed to death. Also, Lack of management for


the delayed incoming fans outside the stadium was not handled by the organizers as crowd
managers which were not expecting them. The planning for sudden crowd ingress was not
taken care during planning. Also, there was no contingency plan in place, outlining the
procedures to follow for opening up of the exit gate for entrance of sudden crowd ingress.
Overall, the police were very slow to understand and recognise the situation which was
In Ellis Park, the lack of crowd management and facilities from the organizers, private
security officials and other stakeholders are believed to be the reason behind the disaster.
Poor forecast of match attendance from the event organizers made the crowd managers
witness a shock when they realise that the crowd inflow is more than expected. The spectator
holding capacity of the stadium was around 60000; however more than 80,000 spectators
were allowed to get into the venue. Also, less than 4000 tickets were pre-sold (NGOEPE,
2002). Rest of the tickets were sold at the entrance gate on the match day. In one of the
reports given for the Ellis stadium disaster, Lack of coordination among all the stakeholders
appointed for managing the event. Each organisation operated basically independently
(NGOEPE, 2002) was mentioned. The South African Police forces were not provided
trainings to handle crowd in large numbers related to sporting previously. They were in place
to handle only the smooth flow of crowds and make sure there was no bottle necks created.
Along with improper crowd management to manage such crowd effectively, there was a lack
of communication system to alert crowd at various places within the stadium. There were
only two spotters or crowd monitors who were deployed inside the stadium to monitor the
crowd movement of 60, 000 spectators. Proper contingency plans were not prepared or
implemented to handle for such kind of mass gathering. Prior risks assessment was not
carried by the event organisers and also they didnt took assistance of professional crowd
management personnel for planning and preparedness for such a sporting event. Guidelines
of the IFFA (International federation of football associations) and South Africa Football
Associations which state that a game should not be started until the situation inside and
outside the stadium are under control. Even though the game had started, there were still
thousands of fans waiting outside the grounds to gain access to the venue. Also, there was
failure of the traffic management plan which led delays in medical services to the affected


2.5.3 Learning from past sporting event disasters

Is there a general failure to learn lessons from previous sporting event incidents? (Elliott &
Smith, 2006). For example, there was almost similar kind of experience at the Hillsborough
stadium first in 1981 and then in 1988 both times for FA cup semi-final match i.e. at the same
venue where poor crowd management led to crushes at the stadium. The first disaster
incidentally led to a decision to suspend all big matches at the venue for six years between
1981 and 1987. Before 1989 Hillsborough disaster, hooliganism was rife in football and,
therefore, disorder was expected. The focus of the organisers was on crowd control rather
than safety, again influenced by the expectations of violence and football hooliganism (e.g.,
Scraton, 1999). The management was more focussed on crowd control which led to improper
planning for management of crowd before and during the event. Consideration was never
kept in mind for the safe evacuation of spectators.
The Ellis stadium disaster could have easily been prevented if lessons were learnt from
previous sporting event disaster like Hillsborough where the situation of crowd management
was similar. If there would have been a proper risks assessment carried prior to the match,
better planning can be implemented through management and contingency plan. No expertise
help was taken into consideration. It would have created a major impact in planning and
preparation for such an important event. There are competent and highly experienced South
African safety professionals and organisations that could immediately demonstrate safe
crowd management planning systems, but they are presently ignored (NGOEPE, 2002). The
safety aspects of the spectators were not looked into by the authorities. They were more
concerned about the result of the game than the lives of the people.
2.6 Analytical Framework
Mass gathering always create stress on the organizers and managing the crowd at such
scenario ensuring adequate safety of the people requires effective management strategies
which should be developed during the pre-event phase. Mass gathering at a stadium always
has a risk factor for incidents related to crowd. The risk assessment becomes an essential
factor in planning for any future mass gathering event. Through various literatures, we found
that there have been many human-made disasters at a sporting event and the cause for those
disasters include poor crowd management, violent behaviour of spectators panic among
spectators etc. The study will try to analyse the factors which plays an important role
individually or as a whole through a framework which have been proposed in the past studies.


The idea of the framework evolved from the past human stampedes and its numerous
dimensions including crowd dynamics, as understood from various literature and case
studies. Mass gathering incidents identified where reviewed in this studies to derive the
important risk factors and key advices that can be beneficial to the event organisers along
with various agencies or departments involved. The analytical framework proposed by F.T.
Illiyass et al (2013) at International journal of disaster risk reductions-5 helps us to
understand influences in the evolution of the human stampede risk reduction at mass
gatherings and in turn leads to inclusive framework which reflects factors which are
necessary to looked upon for better risk management in mass gathering situations.
The framework for risk reduction of mass gathering shows combination of muti-disciplinary
stakeholders along with coordinated approach which together mitigate the potential hazards
related to mass gathering. The design and execution of the components suggested in the
framework will be useful for the safe conduct of the mass gathering event in future.
Analysing the risks through framework suggested by F.T Illiyass et al(ASA) can further
construct discussion amongst other researchers, academicians and practitioners.

A human stampede risk reduction framework (Fig.1) reflects the two way tree for identifying
common risk during mass gathering. One of the aspects which lead to the common risk
includes understanding past mass gathering incidences identified for the study along with
examining nature of human stampedes, crowd characteristics, identification source of crowd
disturbance etc. The other side looks into discussion with Event Management Agency along
with consultation with other stakeholders like government, various line departments (Disaster
management, Police, Revenue, Fire and Health) for their role and responsibilities in relation
to safely carry out mass gathering event. The identification of common risk evolved together
from both the aspects. The inclusive framework (Fig.2) derived from the identified common
risks and review of crowd management from other literatures along with existing policies and
regulations initiated by the government agencies.


Figure 3: Stages in the evolution of the human stampede risk reduction framework.
(lliyass, F.T. et al 2013)


Figure 4: Inclusive framework for Human Stampede Risk Reduction Framework for Mass
Gathering Occurrences. (lliyass, F.T. et al 2013)

The aim of inclusive framework on human stampede risk reduction (Fig. 2) is to reduce the
risks in mass gathering events by addressing the potential hazards which can prevail in mass
gathering occasions. The framework basically suggests the safety aspects which must be
looked upon during discussions, planning and implementation during the pre-event meetings
between event organisers and other stakeholders. The framework has a five interlinked stages
which are mutually linked to each other. The decision to hold the event looks into the need
for which the event is going to be held. The context of the event is important as the
preparations to organize the mass gathering will be initiated. The organization has the vital
role and responsibility to arrange the event in the safest and coordinated way so that the
people feel secure enough to come for the event. In this stage, various other aspects of the
event should be considered such as type of event i.e. religious, political, entertainment etc.
The venue for the gathering and duration also plays an important factor in planning for the
event before the permission to hold the event is taken from the necessary authorities. In case
of past history of incidents at that particular is observed, there should be a careful study for
understanding the cause of incident. In case, the above factors are found to be satisfactory,
the organizers can proceed further for the holding the event. The second stage Event


Approval comes into the picture if the decision to hold the event is considered to be
satisfactory from the concerned or competent authorities. The authorities look into various
other aspects like capacity or preparation plan of the organisers, expected crowd size for the
event. They visit the event site and view the necessary safety measures deployed at the venue.
If the concern authorities find that the arrangement for the event is adequate, they provide the
necessary permission to the event organizers. This reflects that there is a two-way concern for
crowd safety in any mass gathering event. The risk assessment stage possibly the integral
part of crowd safety will consider all possible factors which will provoke risks a) crowd
characteristics of the spectators and participants, b) demographic characteristics of the crowd
like motivation, age group of person attending the event or crowd composition, educational
level, gender, social status etc. c) weather conditions during the event and possible natural or
human origin events. The sudden change in weather condition can sometimes be the
triggering factor for crowd disturbance in mass gatherings. The scale of risk will vary
according to the above characteristics under risk assessment stage. So every risk factor needs
to be properly studied before proceeding to the planning phase of the event. The fourth Stage
Integrated planning will be carried out in order to reduce the structural and non-structural
risk factor coming from risk assessment stage. This planning should also include probable
hazards identification, response mechanism in place, availability of resources and services at
the venue, contingency and evacuation plans, crowd management strategies. There should not
be any mismatch for the services expected by the crowd and provided by the event
organizers. The response plan should be tested by regular drills and in case of failure; the
plan should be modified and updated accordingly. The fifth stage Risk reduction Measures
deals with the preparing action plan for the identified risks and deploying risk reduction
measures at the venue like a common control room should be created in order to coordinate
and communicate with all the volunteers, agencies and partners. Live surveillance through
the installed cctv cameras should be monitored continuously for any crowd disturbance,
pressure build-up at any point, crowd density, bottlenecks etc. so that immediate actions can
be taken by the authorities. The mobility of crowd will improve and it can be tracked from a
central point. Venue layout and signers or sign-boards for entry and exit to the venue should
be in place before the crowd is allowed to get into the venue. In case of mishap, the crowd
should be given warning or information for the safe evacuation. The communication system
should be managed carefully as even a slight wrong information can lead to bigger problem
for the crowd and organizers. The designed plan should be tested for effectiveness of the


function responsibilities and preparedness through exercise and briefing and meeting should
be held with key stakeholders to review the plan and response procedures.

The above framework reflects the process of gathering and reducing risks factors in mass
gathering. However the framework may work or been accepted by the authorities or
academicians, But under practical circumstances, the framework should be implemented to
view its effectiveness.


Crowd Management at Wankhede Stadium
3.1 Wankhede Stadium Profile
Cricket is considered widely at par with religion in India. People love the sport and many of
them have taken it as a part of professional career. More than a million of people around the
country play cricket daily or watch the game at different places. One of the places of playing
and watching the cricket match is within the stadium. In India, there are more than thirty
international cricket stadiums established such as Eden Garden, Kolkata; M. Chinnaswamy
Stadium, Bangalore; Wankhede stadium, Mumbai etc. which has regularly hosted
international test or One Day International (ODI) matches over the years. The Wankhede
Stadium in the city of Mumbai, Maharashtra is a cricket stadium which has hosted many
international matches over the years. The stadium was built in the year 1974 in the span of six
months with an overall budget of two crores. Presently, Wankhede Stadium is believed to be
one of the best stadiums in the Indian subcontinent having all the necessary international
standard facilities for spectators as well as for organizers. Apart from hosting several
international matches for India, it is also considered as the home ground for Mumbai Ranji
Team as well as Mumbai Indians team in the Indian Premier League (IPL). All the three
formats of the game namely five day test matches, one day international and the relatively
newly introduced but extremely popular 'twenty over a side' (T 20) format have been played
at this venue. The Wankhede stadium has hosted 24 test matches and 19 One day
International matches till date. Every time when India has hosted the ICC cricket world cup,
the stadium has been given opportunity to host One Day International Match during the world
cup. In 2011, India cricket team won the ICC World Cup tournament after beating Srilanka in
the finals by six wickets at the Wankhede stadium. The famous cricketer Sachin Tendulkar
popularly known as Master Blaster who have scored more than thirty thousand runs in
international matches started playing for Mumbai Ranji Trophy team from this very famous
3.2 Location of Wankhede Stadium
The Wankhede Stadium is located near the Churchgate Station in South Mumbai division of
the city. It can also be reached from the Marine Line station from the Northern side. The
main gates to the ground are named after Vinoo Mankad and Polly Umrigar.


The stadium has 7 different stands:

Sunil Gavaskar Stand, North Stand, Vijay Merchant Stand, Sachin Tendulkar Stand, MCA
Pavilion, Divecha Pavilion, Garware Pavilion.

Entry gate to the stadium

Different stands
Figure 5: Google Earth image with entry points to the Wankhede stadium


Figure 6: Aerial View of Modern Wankhede stadium (Source: ECC Concord, Jan - Mar 2011
Volume - 34 Issue - 1)
Stadium Statistics:

Total Area covered: 35,000 sq. m (approx.)

Height of the Stand: 30m from ground level

Ground Radius: 68.50 meters

No of Flood Light: 4

Each stand has a seating capacity of more than 2000 spectators.

Total seating capacity of the stadium is 32483.

(Source: unanimous, remaking Wankhede stadium, octamec ltd)


Figure 7: Stands of Wankhede Stadium (source: espncricinfo)

Figure 8: Three tier seating view at the Wankhede stadium stands (source: espncricinfo)

3.3 History of Wankhede Stadium

The Wankhede Stadium of Mumbai city was built in the year 1974 due to prolonged dispute
between the Mumbai Cricket Association and the Cricket Club of India, under the Brabourne


Stadium over the allocation of ticket sales during international matches played at the
Brabourne Stadium (unanimous, remaking Wankhede stadium). The secretary of Mumbai
Cricket Association at that time initiated the proposal for building a new stadium and sooner
it came into existence. The stadium was constructed in minimum span of six months within a
cost of two crores. Wankhede stadium then became the main stadium in the Mumbai circuit
overtaking Brabourne stadium (TOI, 2008). There have been many great innings played at
the same venue and the green turf of the ground has always been compared to the foreign
cricket grounds and pitches have always assisted spinners during most of the matches played.
3.4 Infrastructure of Wankhede Stadium
3.4.1 Traditional Wankhede stadium
The Traditional Wankhede was built with a seating capacity of around 40,000 spectators. It
was constructed by B.E. Billimoria and Company having several years of experience in
constructing residential, Industrial and utility buildings ( source: 4to40-games and sports).

Figure 9: Construction of Wankhede stadium in 1974 and the completed stadium (right).
Source: The Times of India, Mumbai, 20th august 2008
Most of the stands were constructed with hard wooden bench seats and concrete slab for
the spectators to seat and watch the match. It was reported to be uncomfortable by the
spectators when they were made to sit in such seats for duration of almost 8 hours a day.
The internal pillars were present around the stands in order to support the steel roof.
These pillars restricted the visibilities of the spectators from the stands and also led to
gathering of people to watch the match from the place in a stand where there was no
visibility blockage due to these pillars. There were no proper numbered seating
arrangements in most of the stands. Spectators were allowed to sit at the random places in
the stands as per the availability. These self-access to the seats had always created rush


for seats situation while entering inside the stands at the stadium. There was no separation
of stands through walls or concreted grills at most of the stands. There was common entry
gate to most of the stands which sometimes created bottle necks at the entrance.


toilets facilities were few and limited to common. There were no proper facilities for
media personnel and telecast crew to watch the match. Lack of food and refreshments
stalls led people to continuous move in and out of the stadium during match hours. The
comforts for the spectators, players, media and organizers were not adhered during the
construction as there were no standards or guidelines available for the construction of
stadium during that period. (Source: unanimous, remaking Wankhede stadium, octamec

Figure 10: Redevelopment of Wankhede stadium through removal of hard bench seats
Source: The times of India, Mumbai, 20th august 2008
3.4.2 Modern Wankhede Stadium


After the sixth ODI played between India and Australia at the Wankhede stadium during
October 2007 in which India downed Australia by mere 2 wickets at the this stadium;
International Cricket Council (ICC) conducted their meeting and decided to give Indian subcontinent to host the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. With Mumbai being the city of cricket
lovers, it was selected to host few league matches as well as the final match of the
tournament. At this stage, Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) decided to redevelop the
stadium in order to provide better look with modern comforts and facilities to spectators,
media, event managers and organizers. After the bidding process, architects Shashi Prabhu &
Associates along with P.K. Das & Associates were given the duty to draw the redevelopment
plans according to the international stadium standards. After the completion of design, MCA
entrusted the contract for Wankhede Stadium reconstruction to Larsen & Toubro ltd and
within a week of contract signing, the redevelopment work started on 22nd June 2009
(source: unanimous, remaking Wankhede stadium, octamec ltd). The main focus of
redevelopment of stadium was to provide bucket seating facilities and other comforts to
spectators such as food courts, improved and spacious toilet blocks, installation of elevators
along with ramps, staircase etc. The two opposite stands i.e. north and the south Stands were
redeveloped to have higher standards. The roofs were designed to have a cantilevered
structural steel with teflon fabric to allow spectators have an un-obstructed view of the
ground. There is an increase in the number of exit gates to eleven along with separate
restrooms and toilets were reconstructed to accommodate a large number of people including
ladies and children. 57 new VIP boxes were constructed for special guests which are air
conditioned. Three huge Light-Emitting Diode (LED) screens were installed at locations were
visibility is maximum for spectators sitting in any stands. As the facilities to spectators were
improved, the players dressing rooms were also revamped to have fitness room, spacious
balcony and bathrooms. The media centre (constructed for journalists and photographers) and
dressing rooms have large glass panels installed to give clear view of the game. The above
work involved a wide range of engineering such as civil, electrical, mechanical, plumbing,
interior works and cladding. The stadium also has the facilities of better floodlights by Bajaj
Electricals Ltd. The two seating ends of the ground are called as Garware Pavilion End and
Tata End. Apart from being one of the biggest stadiums in the country, it is also now one of
the most modernized and well equipped in every department. In order to provide the above
facilities and maintain international standards, the overall capacity of the stadium was
reduced to 32,480 seats from 44,000.


3.5 Crowd Management at the Wankhede Stadium during IPL Matches

Mass gathering is a common occurrence at a sporting event in India. There are generally no
serious problems faced with such large gathering in sporting event over the years in India, but
in the case of improper crowd management, poor information and inadequate facilities, lack
of proper safety and risk management, injuries or deaths can ensue. This study presents
findings for the crowd management at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. The analysis includes
the strategies deployed by the event organizers, crowd managers of various line departments.
Furthermore, the analysis will emphasise the significance of the management for crowds
within the stadium, emergency response plan, progress in coping strategies and vulnerability
and risk reduction towards building resilience.

Strategies deployed for Crowd Management by Organisers

There are many stakeholders involved during the match to handle mass gathering within the
closed enclosure as stadium. Every stakeholder has their own roles and responsibilities to
manage the crowd.

Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA)

Mumbai cricket association (MCA) is the primary agency responsible for managing crowd
during the match in the stadium. MCA has the mandate for ensuring safe conditions in
compliance with applicable laws and reasonable standards. Due to fewer members or
managers, they take help from various expertise and departments specialized in crowd
management. They are solely responsible in printing of tickets, selling of tickets through their
partners and housekeeping facilities within the stadium. They assign roles and responsibilities
to other stakeholders and provide means of coordination among them through meetings prior
to the match. They make sure that the spectators have been seated as per their seat numbers
on the tickets. They also provide sign boards, symbols and map within and outside the
stadium so that there is no confusion regarding the seating arrangements. They have access to
CCTV cameras and Public Address (PA) system in order to monitor the crowd during the
match and provide warnings and announcements in case of any disaster. They give trainings
and expert knowledge to their own crowd managers regularly in order to ensure proper
management of crowd.


Mumbai Police
The Mumbai police department take broad responsibilities to carry out management of crowd
before, during and after the match. They perform duties and functions for which there are no
written policies. Maintaining Law and order when there is a mass gathering is one of their
important tasks. The law enforcement is their main duty, However there is an increasing
demand in the other areas. Around 1500-2000 police are deployed within the stadium for the
match in the Wankhede stadium. They carry out many meetings with all the police personnel
to understand the mass gathering location and provide role and responsibilities of each
individual. This is done through Bandobasht order which have full-fledged details of every
police personnel along with their reporting officer. Along with the uniform police personnel,
They also keep some police in every stand wearing civil dress so that the spectator are not
aware of them and they can keep a watch on behaviour of people. The numbers of police
personnel or crowd managers are deployed more at a sporting event as compared to any
religious event as they are feel probability of any incident is more at sporting and they carry
out assessment related to both external risk and internal risk. This reflects that they are
always aware of risk of crowd related incident. All the police personnel during their training
period have to undergo crowd management training so that they can handle crowd
management. The means of communication for disseminating information about any incident
is done through the reporting lists which every police person has with them. So they have to
provide information to their reporting officer first and follow orders in turn from them.
Bandobasht orders have to be followed strictly by every police personnel deployed at the
stadium, In case of any incident due to negligence; they are warned about punishments during
briefing. Generally speaking, the role of police at sporting events is to enforce laws and to
manage crowds along with protecting public property in cooperation and with the necessary
support of the event promoter.
Fire Department
The Fire department is responsible for managing and responding to incidents like fire, wall
collapse etc. They are trained professionals to deal with the stadium related hazards. They are
equipped with all fire fighting system at the stadium and in its vicinity. They have an
emergency plan having Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which will be activated by those
in charge of fire station. In case of additional requirement of vehicles, they can be made
available from other fire stations. They have a common Emergency Operation Centre (EOC)


headquartered at Wadala which coordinate with the other fire station in the city to direct them
in case of requirement or incident. Their roles and relationship to other personnel is clearly
defined in advance. Fire personnel, like other personnel of department, is always involved in
the advance planning of a sporting event to assure their level of acceptance in terms of
preparedness with fire and life safety codes.
Bombay Hospital
The Bombay hospital is involved with the public health aspect in case of any adverse event
during the event. The authorities keep in reserve three to four beds and keep CMO, casualty
officer and blood bank department alert during the day of the match to ensure that in case of
any emergency, they are prepared and equipped to handle the situation. In case of additional
requirement, they can use the empty beds in the hospital to accommodate more injured
persons. The emergency plan of the hospital will be activated by the director, bringing into
play the emergency response mechanism. In order to coordinate with various different
internal departments and other hospitals in case of emergency, they follow standard operating
procedures (SOP).mentioned in their emergency plan. The plan has response strategies for
emergency which are regularly tested by mock drills. Drills and trainings are regularly
carried out such as 'emergency care training' so as to see level of preparedness. The roles and
responsibilities of every hospital staff are defined in this emergency plan so that such
situation is dealt effectively.
Disaster Management Cell-MCGM
Disaster management Cell of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has the
most influential role on crowd management and on the activities of promoters and
entertainers during any sporting event at the Wankhede stadium. They act as a coordination
and information dissemination centre for all other department during a sporting event. They
stated to follow an Incident Response System (IRS) mechanism to respond for any crowd
related incident. There are fourteen emergency support functions which provide training to
NCC and NSSC cadets to deal with crowd management. They also become part of managing
crowd at the Wankhede stadium during match and monitor the movements of crowd and


Chapter 4
4.1 Data Collection
For the present study, data were collected in two forms in order to understand the various
aspects of the study. Collection of data were taken from spectators and MCA crowd
managers during live cricket match and the other sources of data were received from various
departments involved in managing the crowd at the Wankhede stadium, Mumbai.
Data were collected from spectators during the T20 match between Mumbai Indians v/s Delhi
Daredevils in Indian Premier League season 7. In my sample of semi structural interviews
of 45 spectators, I was able to receive information from 35 responses. 15 of them were males
(age ranging from 20-35 years) and 10 were teenagers (including boys and girls) and rest
were females. The spectator respondents are mentioned as S1, S2, S3, S4, S5..Sn in order
to place their perceptions in analysis related to the research questions and objectives.
The department are initialized as D1, D2, D3, D4...Dn respectively in order to understand
their perceptions for the present research.
The officials from various departments which gave the data related to management of crowd
and their preparedness and response for any emergency situation were
Secretary, Mumbai Cricket Association- Respondent D1
Disaster Management cell, MCGM-Respondent D2
O.S.D, Bombay Hospital, Marine Lines- Respondent D3
Senior Inspector, Mumbai police officials and other constables- Respondent D4

Fire station, Fort-Respondent D5

Data were mostly collected after taking prior appointments. Most of the interviews with the
concern person of respective departments took around 30-45 minutes. During the interviews,
the data from respondent was collected and analysed and only relevant data related to the aim
of the research was further used for the study.


In order to compare the crowd behaviour at sporting event and religious event, the researcher
went to Lalbagh Ganesh Utsav, Mumbai celebration for finding behaviour of the devotees
during the queue.
Most of the data which were collected was relevant for this research but some were irrelevant
and it was ignored. Therefore the data which was used for analysis was of adequate quality in
order to achieve the research aim/objectives, answer research questions and test the research
4.2 Data collection challenges
As the stadium host few international matches and 7-8 IPL matches so getting respondent
during the matches was found to be a difficult task. As the data related to crowd management
is sensitive related to safety of people, it took time to get the confidence of the respondent
from various department to give confidential data.
4.3 Summary
This chapter has focussed on the research design for the study and selected qualitative
research methods proposing a semi-structured interview, direct observation was the key
sources of data collection. The timeline of the data collection is mentioned along with the

4.4 Analysis of the data collected

Mass gathering is observed to be a common occurrence during sporting event at the
Wankhede stadium over the years. There are generally no serious problems with such large
gathering, but in the case of improper crowd management, poor information and inadequate
facilities, lack of proper safety and risk management, injuries or deaths can ensue. This study
presents an analysis for the crowd management at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai which
includes the strategies deployed by the event managers, crowd managers and other
stakeholders involved in managing crowd.
Furthermore, the analysis will emphasise the significance of the management for crowds
within the stadium, emergency evacuation plan, progress in coping strategies and
vulnerability and risk reduction towards building resilience.


Strategies deployed for Crowd Management

Crowd management at Wankhede stadium is carried out by multiple stakeholders such as
Mumbai cricket association, Mumbai police, private crowd managers, disaster management
cell etc. Stakeholders perform their assigned roles and responsibilities during crowd
management and Incase of any emergency; they have a mechanism of Incident Response
system (IRS) where the disaster management cell (MCGM) will work as the emergency
control room along with the other components of IRS system. One of the respondents D2 of
disaster management cell mentioned that In emergency plan, their role is to coordinate for
Incident Response System for the various actors involved during response so that the
necessary needs of them are met without any delay or confusion.
During entries of the spectator, crowd managers ensure that there are no bottlenecks created
at the entrance of any stand. They maintain separate queues for both men and women so that
security checks are effectively completed well before the start of the match. Management of
crowd is accepted by the spectators and around 80% of respondents accepted that stadium has
safety personnel in large numbers both inside and outside to supervise the crowd movement
before, during and after the match. Crowd behaviour is monitored through CCTV rooms.
Mumbai police deploy few police personnel in civil dress at every stands who seats amongst
the spectators. Respondent D4 from police departments said crowd behaviour can change
while entering and exiting the stadium but also during the match within the stand. So for
having precaution at the stands, they make few police personnel sit with the spectator to keep
a watch on the miscreants. This shows the amount of preparedness by the Mumbai police in
terms of knowledge about the crowd behaviour due to the past experience of mass gathering
at various other places. According to respondent D4, any kind of violent behaviour or antisocial behaviour would be tackled at the individual or small group level before it turns bigger
at the crowd level. This will help in great extent to the management of people effectively by
being part of the crowd.
Respondent D1 informed that They provide symbols, maps and warning signs in order to
give clear direction to the spectators in case of emergency. In order to provide better
movement of spectators within the stadium, they have various signboards are kept so that
there is no rush at any random single stand and seating of spectators is as per ticket number.


Respondent D1 mentioned that it has been cleared stated to all crowd managers that there
should be provision for the individual or group of people to stand together at any place and
watch the match. As it can lead to clash between people as standing individuals can distract
or restrict the visibility of other spectators.
Few of the issues which were agreed upon by respondent as pointed out by D2 is:
The mock drills with all the departments has never been performed for any emergency
situation like stampede as there is no way for getting spectators during non-match day in the
number of 30000 to test the preparedness level for any emergency. So in case of emergency,
the crowd control will be handled as per the response plan; however there is no assurance that
the theoretical plan will work accordingly during practical situation.
Another respondent from department D4 added in case of emergency, there are no
provisions or role assigned to crowd managers in opening of the gates of inner protection
grills so that spectators can come to open space of the cricket ground. So there are still some
areas which need to be incorporated in their plan of action for emergency.
The issues given above are the some of the areas where management have to work upon in
order to increase their preparedness level for any incident during cricket match at Wankhede
Crowd Motivation and Behaviour
During the match between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils held on as part of Indian
Premier League 2014, respondents were probed to identify their motivation of coming to the
ground. Their response can be summarized as follows:

Seventy percentage of the total respondent gave the reason of supporting their home

team Mumbai Indians. They believe the win against the opponent will keep them ahead in the
points table of the tournament.

They feel it would be pride of becoming part of IPL

champion of the year.

More than half of the respondents also gave the reason of watching it for fun and

entertainment. They believe that the thrill and excitement which comes in watching a match
on ground is worth the money spent for tickets.


15% of the respondents especially females gave the reason for driving them to the

stadium were watching the international cricket player playing in the stadium. Many
respondents were present in the stadium to watch their favourite player than for the love of
cricket. It was observed that women were eager to watch players of Mumbai Indians than
concerned with the scoreboard. One of the respondent S7 on questioning the probable winner
of the match said I dont care about the winner, I am happy to watch Rohit Sharma (player
of Mumbai Indian team) bat.

Around twenty five of the respondent said that the need to escape from a present

environment like from their professional work is a kind of motivation to watch the match as it
is a mode of relaxation, entertainment and also it comes once in a year. One of the respondent
from IT firm said I came to watch with my superior as we were eager to take break from
their hectic schedule of work
One five percent of respondent were present in groups to watch the match as they said it
was a mode of socialization and watching with their close friends and relatives. One of the
S15 respondent from a group of youths said that watching in a group is more fun and joy
instead of coming alone to a stadium. The respondent also said that he would have not come
to watch a match alone.

There were three respondents who were watching the match for first time and they

came to feel the atmosphere of crowd of more than 20,000 in numbers.

The diverse motivation of the spectators reflects that there is no single factor which motivates
the individual to come to the stadium and in case any of the motivation is not fulfilled, there
can be odd behaviour of fans or individuals.
Need to manage people at the stadium
The crowd behaviour would change if there is no regulation from crowd managers. They can
easily turn violent in case there is lack of fear of security. Sports stadium gives entries to all
the people without considering their background. So there may be chance that there can be a
clash of ego between individuals or group which can result in crowd related incident.
One of the officials from police department (D2) stated that due to the presence of police
personnel and other crowd managers, the spectator behave in decent manners. If they dont
deploy the police in the stadium, they believe that the probability of crowd related incident


becomes more and crowd control can be difficult post incident. Respondent D2 believes that
the presence of police in uniform changes spectator attitude towards the other people and also
to the players. These kinds of strategies have been successful in the past to manage crowd at
other mass gathering in the city of Mumbai. So, the self-regulation by the people is still a
factor which cannot be followed unless people have control in their behaviour.
Self-regulation can also be hard to take into account as the capacity of the stadium is limited
and there can be probabilities that many of the spectators will seat on the front and back
stands of the stadium as the view from these stands are better as compared to east and west
Difference between religious and sporting crowd
During the IPL match, people were seen behaving in different ways according to the match
situation. Initially people were more excited and were performing verbal gestures like
dancing, singing clapping, chanting, and yelling slogans, taunts or obscenities; once the
match started, most focus on the match. When boundaries were hit by the batsmen team, they
used to clap, show signs and banners and bang the water bottles on the seats. The music
played between the overs also made spectators to dance with their friends or other group
members. People were observed to be the predicting score or discussing strategies depending
on the situation. Some of the crowd were throwing paper missile or rockets or throwing items
such as food wrappers, water bottles and sign boards at random targets. Many of the
spectators had painted their face with the flags of their supporting team or player. In case of
fall of wickets, people were found to be signalling to others people with threatening or
indecent motions and also banging chairs with the water bottles in order to cheer for their
team. Spectators were observed to be moving in and out from the stand for buying food
items and drinks and trying to crash the gates to gain entry to the sitting stand, or rushing the
exit, both of which may result in injury or death from trampling;
However, the behaviour of crowd in religious place like Lalbagh Ganesh Utsav was found to
be different as compared to the sporting crowd. The people were fully dressed as they believe
that in religious places, they should be properly dressed. Most of the people were chanting or
singing religious songs while moving in the queue for the darshan of Lord Ganesh. They
were showing more patience while moving in the queue as they had adequate amount of time.
They were calm and supportive to other nearby people in the queue.


The above comparison between the sporting and religious shows that the sporting crowd are
at more internal risk of crowd related events. They need better management due to the
sporting crowd behaviour as compared to the religious crowd.
Psychological and Social Factors resulting in violent behaviour
There are some kinds of motivation which drives the spectator to the stadium and when this
motivation is not fulfilled from the match. The results can be violent behaviour due to various
psychological and social factors. The factors which have been gathered from the respondents
during the match are: 1) Loosing of supporting team or host team 2) High ticket cost, 3)
Improper facilities within the stadium, 4) Abandoning of the match due to weather
conditions. The above factors can result in violent behaviour of individuals which together
can result in group or crowd behaviour. Crowd action can be patterned in such a way that
individuals can aggravate the situation by raising their concern or voice and it can result in
more people following the similar behaviour. A small part of the crowd can spread the
disagreement to the whole crowds in few minutes and which in turn changes the overall
behaviour of the crowd. The violent behaviour can create panic among other spectators and
that can trigger any crowd related incidents.
Spectator response to crowd related incident at Wankhede Stadium
Spectators visit to the stadium can be in groups, with family members or individually. In case
of any incident related to crowd i.e. crowd surge or rush toward to the exit gate; there can be
panic among spectators to move out from the stadium to a safer place. The response
behaviour of individual will be different among each other. One of the respondents S16 said
that instead of moving out alone, He will first look for his family members and other group
people. Other respondent S6 said that they are unaware about the exit path in the stadium
and they will follow other people (i.e. herding behaviour) in order to come out of the
stadium. It reflects people will trust the unknown as they might be going to safer side of the
stadium. However these unknown might have been escaping on their own or they might be
following the same herding behaviour of others. It may happen that the herding behaviour
can result in more disturbances at a particular exit as one individual or group is following the


Some of the other respondents said that they will escape out as early as possible so that they
are safe from emergency situation. So there is no particular response which the spectators
will perform in case of emergency, they might panic and perform action which will not be
commonly done. The role of crowd managers will change to crowd controllers due to
emergency, they now have to guide the surging crowd to the safer exit and make sure that
there are no casualties from any crowd disturbance.


Discussion and Conclusion
5.1 Discussion related to mass gathering and crowd management at a sporting event
The research was initiated to study the crowd management practices at a sporting with focus
on understanding the changing crowd behaviour during the sport event and its implications
on crowd management. The first chapter showed the past stadium disasters in the world
along with their cause. Most of the disasters happened due to improper crowd management at
the stadium from the organizers, event managers etc. The lack of planning for crowd
management opened the gate for sporting crowd to behave in unlawful manner and cause
severe damage to life and property. It led to formation of base for further study to investigate
the proper crowd management at a sporting event which is a location for mass gathering. The
study of crowd management at a sporting event was considered as there is huge love and fan
following for sports such as cricket in India.
From the literature review, the understanding of crowd at sporting event reflects the need for
proper crowd management. Crowd are the group of individuals having some interest or
motivation in coming together at a location. Crowd should be managed properly with
identification of motives or interest, expected number of individuals, time of the gathering
etc. Many authors concluded that the psychological and social factor is important aspects
which need to be studied as it can acts a triggering factor for changing the crowd behaviour.
The literature of past disasters of Hillsborough and Ellis park stadium have showcase the
need for proper crowd management than crowd controllers. Crowd managers are one of the
actors who are assigned the responsibities of effectively managing the crowd at any sporting
event. However these crowd managers are the people who are just trained personnel and they
are focussed on evenly flow of movement of people at the stadium. They cant perform any
task on their own interests as any fault on their part can create a larger impact on the event.
The Inclusive framework for Human Stampede Risk Reduction for Mass Gathering
Occurrences suggests that there are various risk factors associated during mass gathering of
people at a sporting event which should be properly assessed and then planned for
minimizing them. The planning of the crowd movement along with monitoring of crowd
behaviour at a sporting event will help in increasing the safety of the spectators coming to the


stadium to watch a match live. It will also show greater preparedness level and the response
mechanism can be more proactive as crowd managers will be aware of the situation in hand.
It is important to have proper crowd management strategies in managing the crowd at a
sporting event. Crowd management practices at the Wankhede stadium comprises of many
stakeholders having their defined roles and responsibities, better preparedness for the
emergency situation, proper response and coordination mechanism and preparation of
emergency plan. Even though there have been no crowd related incidents during any
matches, the crowd management should always considered the smallest risk factors. Sporting
event at a place were around thirty thousands of people will gather should consider the layout
of the venue during planning. Wankhede stadium being an enclosed structure, the risk of
crowd related incident is more as compared to a political rally in an open ground or gathering
at a funeral of political leader. The stadium has a common entrance and exit gate for the
watching the match. The gathering of people is mostly uniform for the duration of match so
the movement of crowd during entrance and exiting will remain similar. So the management
should not only consider the management of spectator during the entrance. They should also
manage the crowd after the match. In match between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils,
the researcher during his study visit observes that there is a lack of management during exit
gates after the match and people are coming out of the stands according to their convenience
of travel to home. The flow of crowd to and out of the stadium should be maintained such
that bottlenecks are not formed at any place. Wankhede stadium have authorities or securities
which have skills of management of crowd , however the event managers doesnt feel the
need of having crowd controllers as the crowd managers

are given more priority as

compared to crowd controllers. Crowd controllers are the people who are responsible to
handle after any emergency situation such as directing or rescuing people after any crowd
disturbance at the stadium. So the role of crowd controllers will eventually come in place
only after there is lack of proper management by the crowd managers. So crowd management
and crowd control are interrelated. They should be a well-conceived crowd management plan
that will hopefully eliminate the need for extensive crowd control. Event organisers should
put more efforts in crowd management to effectively manage the crowd than handling the
situation resulting from improper crowd management.

The success of the event will

eventually come when the event is successfully completed and there is a limit to the liability
of the event managers and preserving their financial stability, they need to be more concern


about planning the crowd management than crowd control. The safety of the spectators will
be more in having better management plan than emergency or response plan.
The crowd management plan should be prepared for the crowd behaviour at the sporting
event as crowd behaviour plays a major role in generating crowd disturbance. The
disturbance among the crowd results in panic or chaos which can sometimes become difficult
to handle.
According to Waddell (1997) referring to a staunch supporter of the integrated management
plan view, states, to keep management from crossing over into crowd control, one of the
most important things to do is correctly assess the mood of the crowd. So understanding
changing crowd behaviour at any sporting event will be useful to determine the response
mechanism for any violent behaviour. In literature, there have been very few studies related
to understanding crowd at a sporting event and with growing popularity of sports all around
the world, there are more sports event happening at the stadium. In past there have been many
crowd disasters at a sporting event due to lack of studies related to planning of crowd
management and understanding the crowd psychological and social factors. In Indian context,
there have not any disasters at a sporting event till date even though people of the country
watch many sports event at the stadium. Understanding the crowd management practices at
Wankhede stadium, Mumbai reflects that the various stakeholders have their own roles and
responsibilities related to crowd management. The overall coordination between different
stakeholders has been done by a single department responsible in information dissemination
and communication between them.
Developing crowd management plans in conjunction with the basic crowd management
practices given in this study will help protect managers and spectators as well as the players.
A better understanding of necessity for protecting the spectators and their interest can be
incorporated through the plans. Through effective planning for crowd management and
crowd behaviour, they will achieve economic gains as well as a safe event.


Based on the literature review, case study, data from the semi-structure interview and analysis
of the result, the objectives of the study have been successfully achieved.

Crowd safety is an important aspect during mass gathering at a sporting event. It cannot be
handled by only a designing of the management plan, but it also a management responsibility
to implement the necessary best practices of crowd and their safety management. There
should be an effective risk management through a plan which will have mechanism to reduce
vulnerabilities and risk during mass gathering at a sporting event. Conversely, with good
event managers using information technology in monitoring can be successful in efficiently
eliminating risk from crowd behaviour. The coping capacities of the management should be
improved to such an extent that will have sustainable safe sport events. More importantly,
this case study of Wankhede stadium conclude that proper crowd management is achieved
due to improved coordination among various stakeholders such as event organisers, venue
designer and planner, and security personnel. They work together to effectively manage the
crowd movement before, during and after the match. As crowd management and crowd
control act together and they have an implication on each other i.e. if the management side of
crowd is uncontrollable and lost, then control side will not be able to handle the crowd sure
for longer duration. What is more important to understand is that good crowd management at
the stadium can improve the spectators behaviour and satisfaction for the watching the
match live at a stadium.


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Annexure 1.1
Questionnaires for Mumbai Cricket Association Officials

How many international or IPL match happens at the Wankhede stadium in a year?


For any cricket match at Wankhede stadium, when do you start preparing for the

crowd management?

What are your views on the current levels of crowd safety management in the

Wankhede stadium during the match?


What are the necessary measures MCA take in order to manage crowd for the match?


Which are the other agencies along with MCA handle the mass gathering in a


Do you think the current level of knowledge of crowd management of event

managers, licensing personnel, crowd safety managers, and security personnel is of high
standards compared to any country sports event management?

Do you have any Standard operating Procedure (SOP) in case crowd related incident

happens during or after the match?


Do you have any separate Exit gate for the evacuation of people during any incident?


Who is the responsible person who will look into response during any crowd incident?


Do you provide trainings to the security guards regarding the crowd management?

Questions for Disaster Management Cell-MCGM


How you respond to the mass gathering at the Wankhede stadium?


Who is responsible for handling the crowd management at the stadium?


What are the preparations for any crowd related incidents during the match?



What are your thoughts for such crowd related risk within stadium compared to other


Do you have a separate DM plan for the crowd management in a stadium?


Which are the communicating devices used for transferring the information within the

stadium or coordination techniques used?


How you monitor crowd behaviour i.e. individual or group behaviour during the


In case of any crowd related incident inside the stadium, How will you respond to the


Do you perform any drills before match for crowd management in a stadium?


Any training given to the crowd controllers of the stadium?

Questions for Bombay Hospital Officials


How do you get information about any incident or emergency situation related to


What are your preparations for the mass gathering at the stadium?


Do you reserve patients beds or bloods, medicines for the crowds during the


Do you send doctors and ambulance to the stadium during the match day?


How will the medical emergence team will respond in case a crowd related incident

happens at the stadium?


In case of shortage of beds and OT, how you will respond to this situation?


What kind of orientation or training is carried out for the hospital with respect to

preparedness and response to disasters?


Are the hospitals equipped with generators in case of electricity problems?



What is the procedure for handling large number of dead bodies after a stadium


Questions for Mumbai Police Officials


How do you get information about any incident or emergency situation?


What are your thoughts and strategies for such mass gathering in a stadium?


What are your preparations for such a large crowd?


How many police officials deployed for any international or IPL matches?


How you avoid public transport congestion and parking issues at the either side of

roads around the stadium which can result in potential road blockages before, during and
after the event.

Are you always involved in BMC disaster management planning or meetings related

to cricket match at Wankhede stadium?


What kind of vehicles and equipment you have to respond to any disaster situation?


What are your initial standard Operating procedures (SOP) after getting any disaster

information to maintain law and order?


How will you communicate inside and outside the venue to provide public

announcements, marshalling instructions and evacuation orders in case of crowd related


How will you coordinate with traffic department so as to avoid traffic congestion on

roads leading to disaster site for better rescue and relief operation?

Do you feel that there is a need for crowd controllers at the stadium for managing the


Questions for Fire Station


In what ways you can get information about any emergency situation from a stadium?



What are your preparations for such a large mass gathering?


Do you provide trainings to your team for any kind of incident within the stadium?


How many fire brigade vehicles are sent to the stadium and number of fire brigade

officials deployed?

Do you have any emergency plan, in case of fire within the stadium?


Do you have resources to respond to other disasters like stampede, wall or roof

collapse etc.?

What mechanism do you have to coordinate with other department?


In case of additional fire engine requirement, from where you can get it? What is the

procedure or requirement for this?


How much time will it take to bring fire engine to the stadium?


Do you have any mechanism to take refuel water tanks with the water from Arabian

sea in case of shortage of water and also it is near to the stadium?


Who is the head of the department which will take decision related to the stadium


Do you any standard operating procedure (SOP) for the stadium related incident?


Annexure 1.2
Questionnaires for spectators

How is your experience watching a match live in a stadium?


What makes you to come to a stadium for watching a match live?


How much did you pay for the ticket to watch the match?


What are your thoughts about safety and security during the match?


Do you prefer coming alone or with friends or family?


How is the crowd management throughout the stay in the match?


In case of crowd related incident like stampede, how will you respond?


Will you wait for family members, friends or known people in case of any


Do you know the exit route or you will follow other people i.e. herding behaviour?


In case there are no police or crowd managers, how will response to any incident?


Are you provided with overall stadium layout during entry to the stadium or is maps

available at every stand?


Do you feel that there is a need for crowd controllers at the stadium for managing the