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How to Evaluate Road Barriers for Sporting Events

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Sports have the ability to draw a crowd like few other events. High school, college, and professional sporting events are very popular within many communities, which means that sporting event organizers need to be prepared to deal with hundreds –– or even thousands –– of fans on a given game day. (Over 33 million fans attended the NCAA Division-I football games last year!)

Road barriers set up at strategic points around a stadium (or gym) can help ease traffic congestion, direct unfamiliar visitors, and make parking easier and safer. Taking into account the following considerations will help event organizers determine the quality of a road barrier and see if it’s a good fit for their needs:

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Road barriers at sporting events are typically not permanent fixtures and will have to be set up and broken down on the same day. Because of these time restraints, it’s important to find barricades that are:

  • Light enough to move around safely
  • Compactible (able to be broken down or folded up)
  • Easy to store


Drivers should be able to spot road barriers from a distance as they approach a sporting venue. Oftentimes, metal and concrete barricades are gray or white and can be difficult to see (particularly if it’s raining). That’s why it’s preferable to find barricades that are bright so that drivers can react to them accordingly.

Further, barriers that are able to form a continuous wall are more visible than cones or individual barricades when it comes to traffic control. Instead of having people try to get around cones or single road barriers that are set up, creating a wall can force more desirable traffic patterns and avoid confusion.

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Customization Options

In addition to the ability to customize barricade color on some occasions, event organizers may also benefit from barricades that allow for signage. OTW Safety offers event organizers the ability to create custom signs for our crowd control barricades. For example, schools may choose to include arrows for directions on these types of barricades to direct visiting fans. We typically see event organizers pairing these crowd control barricades that contain signage with our traffic barricades to ensure proper traffic control and crowd control.

Weather Proof

Wind, rain, snow, blistering heat –– sports happen in all types of weather and event organizers should have road barricades that are fit for use outdoors. Barriers that are flimsy, weak, easily knocked over, or that can develop sharp or jagged edges over time don’t contribute to improved event safety or crowd management (and can even present a hazard). Rather, the best barricades will be able to stand up to poor weather conditions month after month, year after year.

Orange Roadway barriers Used at UC San Diego

Safety & Versatility

As mentioned above, some event organizers may use road barriers to set up temporary parking areas. Those barriers should be able to balance on uneven ground and be moved around as needed. Thankfully, quality plastic barricades are a safe and versatile option. They are able to be filled with ballast (sand or water) to increase stability without the need of sandbags or external weights, which are susceptible to wear and can create extra hazards. Also, their bright color and innovative design makes them a safer alternative (in most instances) to metal or concrete barriers.

Final Thoughts on Road Barriers

At OTW Safety, we take plastic barricades seriously. We design, manufacture, and sell our products ourselves, and we take pride in delivering quality barriers to our partners. Our products are high-quality, come with a warranty, and all are built right here in the USA. Contact us here for more information.