National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security e-newsletter | August 26, 2021

The Stage is Set for NCS⁴’s Best Conference Ever!

All that’s missing is You

Join us for the 12th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition – our first in-person event since the pandemic began. The conference is set with a full exhibit hall, new technologies, a packed agenda, breakouts, lots of networking, and more! We are so excited to get together with friends and colleagues to reconnect, reflect, and inspire.

The NCS⁴ staff is tracking the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation. Our current plan is to follow Marriott guidelines which can be found here. Additionally, you can see what Marriott is doing to keep event-goers safe during the pandemic here. More detailed information will be provided to conference attendees as we get closer to the event.

Details about what’s in store for attendees, the agenda, and how to register are all available on the website. So, mark your calendar for November 9-10 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. Early-bird registration ends next week – make your plans and register now!

Agenda Announced for the National Conference

The NCS⁴’s 12th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition agenda is now available. The conference provides an opportunity to reconnect with peers, reflect on industry changes and technological advancements, and support and inspire professionals making a difference in the safety and security of the sports and entertainment industries.

“We know how eager everyone is to gather in person, and we are excited to make that happen for our first face-to-face event since the COVID pandemic,” said Lauren Cranford, NCS4 Director of Operations. “We are working hard to bring meaningful content that is important and relevant to the sports and entertainment industry and look forward to sharing information and networking with peers during this exciting time together.”

The NCS⁴ announces Mark Campana, Live Nation Concerts’ Chief Operating Officer, as a keynote speaker to kick off the opening general session. Campana will inform attendees about “The Changing Entertainment Landscape.”

Woollen to be Presented with Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Conference

Liz Woollen, the University of Oklahoma’s Chief of Police (Ret.), will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2021 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition on Nov. 9-10 in Phoenix. The event is presented annually by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS⁴) at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the long-term accomplishments and contributions of an individual who has earned the respect and admiration of professional colleagues in the sports safety and security community. The award was developed to commemorate exemplary talents and contributions demonstrated by an individual’s dedication, loyalty, ability, and integrity. The award is sponsored by Meridian Rapid Defense Group, which provides SAFETY Act Certified barriers for major sporting events across the U.S.

“I am honored to receive this award from NCS⁴,” said Chief Woollen. “I would like to share it with all our game day stakeholders at the University of Oklahoma, for without their hard work and dedication to the safety and security of our athletes, fans, and facilities — this would not be possible.”

Woollen began her career at the Tulsa Police Department, working in the patrol and detective divisions. While there, she served for 12 years as a negotiator for the Tulsa Special Operations Team. Woollen retired from the Tulsa PD after 21 years and became the first female Chief of Police at the University of Oklahoma (OU) in 2003. During her tenure at OU, she supervised a department of 50 employees, where she was responsible for the safety and security of academic and athletic events. In 2003, Chief Woollen managed the bombing incident that occurred during the OU-Kansas State football game. She retired from OU in 2020 after a 38-year law enforcement career.

Are you ready to take your career to the next level? NCS⁴ offers applicants the opportunity to sit for the CSSP exam at the conference with no testing fee!

The CSSP examination will be offered to eligible candidates on Tuesday, November 9, during the 12th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition. To be considered eligible to take the exam, individuals must complete and submit their CSSP Application, including the application fee, by September 1, 2021, to allow enough time for the NCS⁴ Certification Department to collect and process all supporting documentation. Approved candidates will receive a notification of test eligibility before arriving at the conference. Find out more about CSSP and how to register for the exam now.


Entries are due by tomorrow, Friday, August 27.

Conference exhibitors and sponsors are eligible to apply for the Golden Eagle Award.

The 2021 Golden Eagle Award recognizes excellence in system integration, architecture, engineering, and/or construction (A/E/C) specifically related to the safety and security of spectators, property, and infrastructure of spectator event facilities. The Golden Eagle Award considers critical design and functionality elements that enable and promote the safety and security of all stakeholders in an efficient and effective manner. A panel of judges reviews all applications to determine the most compelling projects. Selected entries have the opportunity to submit case studies during the conference.

Thank You to our Sponsors & Exhibitors

In addition to the exhibitors below, Technology Showcase Sponsors 24/7 Software, Axis Communications, Johnson Controls, and Patriot One Technologies will exhibit their technologies in the foyer between the general session hall and the exhibit hall.

To register as an exhibitor, please visit the conference website. To request a sponsor packet or for assistance, please contact Sara.Priebe@usm.edu.

Welcome New Grad Students

Pictured left to right: Grace Gremillion, Ryan Kavanaugh, and Jonathan Stanford

The NCS⁴ staff welcomed three new graduate assistants to the center this week. The students will be working on various projects throughout the year ranging from marketing and events to preparing for trainings, and assisting with research projects. Please say hello when you see them at our upcoming events.

How Endurance Event Leaders Came Together During the Pandemic to Come Back Stronger Than Ever

Read all about it in the Summer 2021 issue of GAMEDAY SECurity

After races shut down in 2020, marathon and endurance event leaders joined forces with the racing community to focus on coming back in 2021. Click the link below to view the magazine and navigate to page 27 to find out how they did it.

Crowd Management Guru Prof. Dr. G. Keith Still Recognized with Expert Witness Award, Featured in Uncover Q&A

Prof. Dr. G. Keith Still received the 2021 Expert Witness Award for Crowd Risk Analysis from Lawyer Monthly, announced this month. Lawyer Monthly is a news website and monthly publication that tracks and reports on legal news worldwide. The Expert Witness Awards recognize professionals who have a proven record of commitment to the courts by providing guidance and support, coaching, and forensic evidence analysis in their respective fields. Click here to learn more.

Also, Dr. Still interview is featured in an article in Uncover magazine that came out yesterday. Uncover editors sat down with Dr. Still for a Q&A on the impact of COVID on the events industry. Click the link and navigate to page 22 to read the article.

The NCS⁴ and GKStill International jointly offer the Fundamentals of Crowd Safety online E-Learning course to address capability gaps in crowd behavior and sciences. Professor Dr. G. K. Still, Professor of Crowd Science at Manchester University, developed this certified, accredited course. Click the button below to learn more about the course or to register.

Check out CISA’s recently released Public Venue Security Screening Guide. The Guide offers best practices for developing and implementing security screening procedures at public venues hosting a variety of events, including sporting events, concerts, fairs and family festivals, conventions, theme parks, and other events or functions where Americans gather.

The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and Event Safety Alliance (ESA), in partnership with Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP), Coalition of Performing Arts Centers, and National Independent Talent Organization (NITO) have joined together to research, create and present “Safe In Sound,” a free reopening checklist for the live entertainment industry. This toolkit was developed after consultation with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and based on the most up-to-date guidance and resources available at Guidance for COVID-19 | CDC. It serves as the framework for venues and promoters to reopen fully as safely as possible. The checklist addresses every major issue involved in producing a safe live event, both front of house and back of house.


New COVID-19 guidelines released by the NCAA ahead of the 2021 season

Last season was odd for the NCAA and LSU Tigers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SEC shortened its season to a conference-only schedule. The Tigers played just 10 games as compared to their normal 12-game slate, their number of conference games increased from eight to 10. In 2021, it is expected to be played as the full 12-game schedule. Read More

Fans invade pitch, brawl with players, security during Nice-Marseille Ligue 1 game

In a scene reminiscent of the “Malice at the Palace,“ fans leapt over barriers and brawled with players and security staff during Sunday’s Ligue 1 match between Nice and Marseille. Read More

Atlanta Public Schools to require clear bags at sports venues

Atlanta Public Schools has a new rule for athletic events in stadiums and gyms: Bring clear bags. Spectators attending athletic events must use a clear bag to carry items into venues. District officials said the policy is similar to those used by universities and professional sports teams. Read More

Rose Bowl Adds Digital Seat Tags for College Football Games

More than 90,000 QR codes have been added to all seats at the Rose Bowl for fans to scan during UCLA football games this fall. Digital Seat Media made the seat tags, and the Rose Bowl is the first California stadium to adopt the technology. Read More

Las Vegas Raiders Use CLEAR’s Health Pass to Mandate Proof of Vaccine for Fans

The Las Vegas Raiders will require fans to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to attend home games at Allegiant Stadium this season. Fans must download the CLEAR mobile app and upload their vaccination records to enter the indoor venue, which will host fans at full capacity. Read More

Woollen Presented with Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition

Liz Woollen, the University of Oklahoma’s Chief of Police (Ret.), will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2021 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition on Nov. 9-10 in Phoenix. Read More