LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- Nearly a month after a stampede injured 50 people, MGM Resorts is making changes in how it handles patrons as they exit the Grand Garden Arena.
Clark Dumont, senior vice president of Corporate Communications for MGM Resorts International, said the company did an internal review on the exit plan for MGM's 16,800-seat venue on the Las Vegas Strip.
“… We’ve implemented a number of measures that we believe will ease crowding when exiting the arena. For example, we will make increased use of signage and ushers to encourage patrons to leave through under-utilized exits to decrease congestion at main exits," part of the statement says.
Dumont told News 3 in an email that ushers and staff members will now have signage to guide patrons to less-used exits as well as to the garage to help alleviate pedestrian traffic through the shopping district, casino and hotel.
The May 3 stampede was reportedly prompted when a temporary wall fell, resulting in a large noise that some patrons thought was gunfire.
Hundreds of people fled through the main exit hallway with about 50 people suffering bumps, bruises and similar injuries. The most serious injury was a broken leg. Clark County Fire Department and private ambulances transported 24 people to hospitals for treatment.
Dumont's statement also said, "Safety is always a top priority for us. Our arena staff will continue to work with the county fire marshal's office to identify and ensure best practices are followed. We also will continue to supplement our trained security force with Las Vegas Metro police, county fire personnel, paramedics and other resources as needed."
The stampede was not the first such situation at the facility.
The Grand Garden Arena egress setup has always been slow-moving and crowded. The hotel also was the sight of the infamous Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield “Bite Night” bout of Nov. 28, 1997, though the stampede on that night was reported in the hotel lobby.