A Glimpse into Opening a Professional Sports Stadium from Austin FC’s Director of Safety and Security

When you attend an Austin FC professional soccer game there is a palpable energy felt within the stadium and surrounding metro area. However, beneath the surface of the sea of green and white, there are intricate and proactive security measures in place to make the event enjoyable for all.

In this episode, Fred talks with the individual behind it all — the Director of Safety and Security with Austin FC and Q2 Stadium, Mike Fogel. They discuss Mike’s philosophy to managing security at sporting events for Austin’s first professional sports team and the challenging elements that go along with it — from unruly fans, to protecting celebrities and VIPS, to motivating contract security staff. Mike also shares his thoughts on how the industry will evolve in the coming years and the role technology will play.

Mike has served in his current role since October of 2020. He oversees all physical security, event security, and 24-hour security for the first professional sports stadium in Austin, Texas, as well as the St. David’s Performance Center. Additionally, Mike is tasked with coordinating with the City of Austin on the management of the public safety services including police, fire/rescue, medical, and EOD/HAZMAT. Prior to joining Austin FC, Mike was the Security Manager at AT&T Stadium and the Dallas Cowboys where he had a very similar role for one of the premier facilities in all professional sports.

Aside from his duties with Austin FC, Mike is a member of numerous committees around the country including the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) and the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM). He has attained NCS4’s Certified Sports Security Professional designation, he is an IAVM Trained Crowd Manager, and has completed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security NIMS Training program.