Wind Management Plans

An image of seating at a stadium damaged by heavy winds

The recent stormy weather has once again highlighted the need for managers of sports grounds to take account of adverse weather conditions in preparing their contingency planning arrangements.

Most contingency planning considers how frost and snow will impact upon the safety of spectators and the field of play but coping with the effects of damaging high winds should also be considered and a Wind Management Plan developed.

Damaging winds can of course occur at any time of year. 

For some sports they can affect the performance of athletes even at relatively low speeds, without ever affecting the safety of spectators, which can influence the decision to start or continue a sporting programme. 

Sports grounds that use additional equipment or temporary buildings are very susceptible to increased wind loads and, conversely, the impact for spectator safety may be greater than for the sporting programme.  

A Wind Management Plan, as part of the contingency planning arrangements for the sports ground and event should include:

  • Processes for obtaining detailed wind speed forecasts for the location
  • Details of maximum wind loadings for each structure on site
  • On site wind speed monitoring and recording of data
  • An action plan for pre determined wind speed thresholds
    • Securing loose furniture
    • Lowering temporary signage and branding
    • Reducing wind  load upon structures
    • Closing down parts of the ground – marquees or temporary stands
    • Ability of external partners and stakeholders to respond to incidents within the ground if they are drawn to other locations.
    • Revised traffic management plan if access routes are impacted
    • Arrangements for the abandonment, postponement, cancellation or delayed start of the event – event officials, participants, governing bodies, media
  • Inspection regime after winds have subsided
  • Recovery action plan to respond to any damage caused by wind
    • On the day - delayed start
    • When there has been an  abandonment, postponement or cancellation