The promoters of Saturday’s exhibition match between Monarcas Morelia of Mexico and Luis Angel Firpo of El Salvador are taking added steps to make sure there is no repeat of rioting at Sam Boyd Stadium at the Chivas-Club America soccer game last week.
Fans attending the 8 p.m. Morelia-Firpo match can expect to see added security inside and the outside the stadium. Bags will be carefully checked and fans will be scanned to keep out flares and fireworks, the promoter said. While there won’t be dedicated entrances segregating fans of the two teams, large groups making their way into and out of Sam Boyd will be closely monitored.
“We’ve talked to the stadium and the police and we’ll provide adequate security,” said Eduardo Beltramini, president of Planet Futbol, the Houston-based company that is promoting Saturday’s game. “We’ve been doing soccer games since 1993 and we’ve probably done 120 games. We’ve never had the kind of incident that they had in Las Vegas last week with Chivas and Club America.”
Beltramini said there was no discussion of canceling Saturday in the aftermath of what took place July 3. But he knew he would have to show stadium management that he had a better plan in place to deal with any potential trouble.
Mike Newcomb, the director of the Thomas & Mack Center who also oversees Sam Boyd Stadium, made a few suggestions to Planet Futbol regarding procedures for dealing with fans for Saturday.
“We learned a lot from what happened last week and I think we’ll be ready,” Newcomb said. “We need to make sure that people know the stadium is a safe place to go.”
Beltramini said the intense rivalry between Chivas and Club America and the two Mexican teams fan bases does not exist with Saturday’s match-up.
“Chivas-America is like having a time bomb in your hand,” he said. “You know it’s going to eventually explode.
“Our game won’t have that kind of intensity and dislike. But we’re still going to make sure we have a strong security presence. When people see the security, they’ll be less tempted to run onto the field and cause trouble.”
Tickets, priced from $27 to $57, are available in advance at UNLVtickets.com or at the stadium box office the day of the match. Children age 8 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.