Safety procedures at metro-Detroit sporting events - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Safety procedures at metro-Detroit sporting events

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (myFOXDetroit.com) -

With terror striking the Boston Marathon, many wonder how safe it is to attend other major sporting events, especially here in metro Detroit where our teams draw huge crowds.

For example, the Big House in Ann Arbor is the largest sports venue in the country. And in a post 9-11 world, security here is always on high alert.

Chief Joe Piersante of U-M police told Fox 2,  "We work very closely with all our law-enforcement parties, including the federal agencies, the State Police, the County Sheriff's Department, and the Ann Arbor Police Department. And that includes the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security."

In 2011, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Michigan played in their first ever nighttime game against Notre Dame, heightening security even further.

"We had a sell-out crowd. We know that we have the largest venus in the U.S., those are things that keep me up at night. But we do the best we can to maintain a safe and secure environment for our fans at the stadium. We bring all the resources we consider necessary in for game-day safety," added Chief Piersante.

Sporting events have long been a target for an attack. A Red Wings practice on Tuesday, players talk about how they feel when they walk into the arena.

Goalie Jimmy Howard told us, "It almost gives you the feeling that you can't do anything anymore. And it's a terrible feeling to have, but the Americans that we are, its always have the comradery, and everyone helping each other [at the Boston Marathon] is great to see."

Head Coach Mike Babcock adds, "Part of living in the free part of the world, is there's going to be some things that go wrong. In saying all that though, is, you can't let people - I don't believe anyway - get in the way of what you like to do. And our thoughts and prayers go out to the families involved, it's a sickening, sickening thing. I assume they're going to really heighten security now. You like to think things like this will never happen again, but you and I both know they will, and it's sad."

Security in closed stadiums, such as the Joe Louis arena or the Big House, is more controlled than parade-like events outdoors, as in the Boston Marathon. Here in Detroit, the Free Press Marathon is six months away, and organizers are taking precautions to keep you safe.

"Once we know more about the Boston situation, we will really work with those entities to assess whether we should make any changes to our run," says the Executive Race Director, Rich Harshbarged.

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