Bollards at the Benz
How Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium protects attendees from vehicle attacks
Atlanta’s new $1.5 billion stadium, home to the NFL
Atlanta Falcons football team and MLS Atlanta
United soccer club and site of the recent NCAA
national college football championship, is protecting
fans, staff and athletes from terrorists and errant
drivers from using vehicles as weapons. While the threat of terrorists
planning to attack soft targets, such as stadiums, increases, stadium
security professionals must look for the weak points throughout their
facilities to determine where fanatics are most likely to assail.
Taking their cue from soft target attacks, security teams and other
stadium management understand that the use of vehicles, either to
transport those who carry out the attack or act as the bomb itself, is
a very real threat. Installed by Tusco (Cottondale, Ala.), using Delta
Scientific perimeter protection products, the new access system includes
four DSC501 barriers, five DSC720 bollards, 39 DSC2000 barriers
and 59 DSC680 fixed bollards.
“We are experienced with installing Delta equipment,” said Brent
Martina, president of Tusco. “Mercedes-Benz Stadium was particular
about their security needs and protocols and requested a customized
sequence of operations for their security equipment. Delta
Scientific’s products and experienced engineers made them the obvious
choice in meeting both the high quality and technical standards
required to integrate with the stadium’s sophisticated security system.
It was crucial to have a reliable team in place as we received a very
compressed schedule to get everything complete by the first football
game and, therefore, had no room for errors.”
Because of long, straight approaches to some access points, stadiums
oftentimes need to deploy high performance barriers, at the
main entrances where players and VIPs, among others, enter with
their cars. The DSC501 is the only K54-certified retractable vehicle
barricade in the world. Set in a foundation only 18 inches deep, it
will survive and operate after a 5.4-million foot pound impact. That’s equivalent to a 65,000-pound truck hitting it at 50 mph. Stopping the
truck or car dead in its tracks, the DSC501 protects against a “second
hit” risk from a second vehicle. The stadium preferred installing these
barricades in a more industrial look, wanting them to be seen.
Five retractable DSC720 bollards were used at the pedestrian
entry. This is Delta’s highest crash rated bollard, stopping a 15,000
pound vehicle at 50 mph. The bollard will stop and destroy much
larger vehicles than those tested at high velocities. The DSC720 is 35
inches tall and 15 inches wide. At Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the bollards
feature brushed stainless-steel sleeves.
Oftentimes, the ground below the access points are filled with cables,
wires, pipes and other infrastructure products. As a result, typical,
below ground installed traffic bollards, barriers and barricades
cannot be used because these infrastructure products are too close
to the surface. The solution is to use surface-mounted and shallow
foundation barricades and barriers.
At the same time, for some reason, delivery entrances never seem
to be as secured as the main entrances to the stadium. With delivery
vehicles coming and going, delivery entrances need a solution that
lets delivery vehicles enter and exit but stop unauthorized vehicles
from entering at all.
At the loading docks, 39 of Delta’s fastest, smallest and shallowest
foundation barricades were implemented. Chosen especially for
high speed applications and ease of installation, the cost effective
DSC2000 barrier is K12 crash certified with no penetration, meaning
it will stop a 15,000 pound vehicle traveling 50 mph dead in its tracks.
The ten-inch shallow foundation also reduces installation complexity,
time, materials and corresponding costs.
Lastly, 50 DSC680 shallow foundation fixed bollards with stainless
steel sleeves protect pedestrian areas. They secure any unprotected
locations where vehicle bombers and errant drivers have no
obstacles. Versus cement barriers such as posts and pots, many organizations
prefer fixed post bollards for several reasons.
When hit, cement posts and pots can explode, literally spreading
shrapnel throughout the crowd, potentially creating numerous injuries.
Shallow foundation bollards can be installed within sidewalks
or on top of concrete deck truss bridges as well as conform to the
inclines and turns of a locale. They also meet the one-meter clearance
regulations mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The fixed bollard, which does not go up and down, provides a significant
blocking device solution that continues to challenge security
directors faced with threats such as stopping a vehicle from plowing
into the stadiums inner perimeter. They let facility managers meet a
long-standing challenge—how to easily install bollards on shallow
substrates, including those that are not level or have turns. No longer
do locations, such as curves on hills, the upper levels of parking structures
and other unprotected locales have to rely on unsightly “makedo”
solutions to stop car bombers or wayward drivers.
“Delayed by roof issues, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium challenged
us with a condensed schedule to provide one of the world’s most secure
vehicle access systems,” Martina said. “I’m proud to say that our
team completed the work on time and walked away from the project
with another pleased client.”
This isn’t the only stadium using Delta equipment to protect
staff and attendees from vehicle harm. Among many, Penn State and
Purdue as well as Levi Stadium in San Francisco (49ers) are wellknown
users. Unfortunately, most procurement offices won’t vendors
announce their purchases. This is too bad since terrorists typically
won’t go where they know barricades are deployed, reducing security
Leading universities, including six of the Associated Press (AP)
top-10 rated 2018 pre-season football schools, also stayed one step
ahead of terrorists and errant drivers this year on their campuses by
identifying vulnerable areas and securing them within minutes with
Delta MP5000 temporary, portable barriers. These mobile deployable
vehicle crash barriers carry a K8 rating (M40 ASTM rating), stopping
7.5 ton vehicles traveling 40 mph.
Terrorists typically don’t go where they see barricades, so placing
them wherever possible attacks can happen reduces security risks
dramatically. Today, there is little excuse for a major stadium to suffer
an attack which uses a vehicle to break through
the perimeter. Whatever the weakness a terrorist
thinks can be exploited, there is a type of bollard,
barricade or barrier to stop him, yet let authorized
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2018 issue of Security Today.