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Talen Energy Stadium GM speaks on security incident

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Despite ugliness with New York City FC supporters, the Union aren't moving away support.

Philadelphia Union vs NYCFC
A New York City FC supporter is escorted out of Talen Energy Stadium by security.
Trey Madara / Brotherly Game

I was able to ask Mike Scanlon, the General Manager of Talen Energy Stadium, some questions via email regarding the incident between several New York City FC and Philadelphia Union fans where bottles were thrown and people escorted from the stadium.

Brotherly Game) Walk me through what happened toward the end of Saturday's match with regards to the altercations in Sections 133-134. Who started it?

Mike Scanlon) There was no physical altercation. Some projectiles were thrown initially from section 133. Then after that, some (projectiles were thrown) from section 132 and the River End.

tBG) Who escalated it?

MS) We believe the first projectiles were thrown from Section 133 – visiting supporters.

tBG) How did security de-escalate the situation?

MS) Security was already stationed in this area and immediately responded – additional security also responded from other areas. There was no physical altercation.

tBG) How many NYCFC supporters were arrested/escorted from the stadium?

MS) We do not make this information public.

tBG) How many Union supporters were arrested/escorted from the stadium?

MS) We do not make this information public.

tBG) Was anyone criminally charged?

MS) We do not make this information public.

tBG) Will anyone escorted from the stadium or arrested be banned from future MLS matches and/or events at Talen Energy Stadium?

MS) We do not make this information public. We have turned over any info we have to MLS.

tBG) This came on the heels of MLS unveiling a new security policy regarding bringing bags into stadia. This likely had no impact on the altercations at Saturday's match, however the timing of this is lost on no one. Is MLS and/or the Union/Talen Energy Stadium looking into changing their fan safety policies with regard to away support?

MS) MLS new security measures involved electronic screening and bag size at the gates. Thus, it had no connection to this, but we will always continually monitor and adjust our policies for visiting supporters – and the stadium overall – based on need.

tBG) This is not the first time there have been troubles with away support in section 133. Will there be any changes with how away supporters and handled?

MS) Same as above: We will always continually monitor and adjust our policies for visiting supporters – and the stadium overall – based on need. As for this particular incident, we are currently assessing it and as we do with all incidents, we’ll see if any adjustments are needed.

tBG) Will away support be moved to a different part of the stadium as a result of Saturday's altercation?

MS) No.

* * *

I have found out that two NYCFC supporters were removed from Talen Energy Stadium, while no Union supporters were removed. Furthermore, while The Third Rail - NYCFC's largest supporters' group - has apologized "for the poor behavior of some of (their) supporters," it was members of splinter groups who were proudly displaying a stolen scarf and trying to walk back the apology.

As we've learned before, bans acquired in away stadiums often are honored at the home stadium, so it will be interesting to see what any resulting disciplinary action from MLS will be.

Perhaps lost in all of this is that the big security worry from this weekend was the new bag restrictions placed by MLS. It's worth noting that there were no reported issues and that the delays at the screenings were minimal. But this is little comfort to anyone worried about a repeat incident.