MOBILE, Ala (WALA) – Mobile County high school football players take the field Friday night for the first time since nine people were shot at Ladd-Peebles Stadium last Friday. Then on Saturday, South Alabama has their home opener.
Over the last several days, the city, the county and stadium staff have been working together to create a safety plan.
Metal detectors will be new this weekend, while security cameras have been in place for years.
“One look at the computer you can see virtually see every important area of the stadium where fans or players or other individuals are interacting,” said Victor Knight, General Manager at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
With 40,000 seats the stakes are high for this city owned facility. More than 40 cameras are focused on fans with crystal-clear video.
Police said Friday’s shooting was caught on tape.
“Four years ago, the stadium did not have that type of security,” Knight said. “It's an unbelievably useful tool to aid in management and aid in security. Police officers monitoring that throughout the game.”
This week Mobile County Public Schools putting out new protocols for high school football games. One of the biggest additions, metal detectors.
The stadium said chances are South Alabama will also beef up security.
“High school football is such an important part of our community,” Knight said. “We're going to do what it takes on our end, society has to do what it takes on their end to address some of the other bigger issues.”
On Thursday, the final preps underway with kickoff set for 7 p.m. on Friday.
“It's as safe as we can make it, obviously we're in a position where we are hosting the public,” Knight said. “We're going to try to do everything we can to make sure everyone is here for the reason of watching a football game and having a good time.”
Mobile County said there will be an increased police presence at Ladd as well at all high school football games.