National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security e-newsletter | August 9, 2021

NCS⁴ National Conference Announcements

Make plans to join us for the 12th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition on November 9-10 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. Details about what’s in store for attendees, the agenda, and how to register are all available on the website. Early-bird registration is ending soon – register now for the best deal!

Mercurio to be Presented with Milton E. Ahlerich Distinguished Leadership Award at the 12th Annual Conference

Jim Mercurio, Executive Vice President of the San Francisco 49ers and Levi’s Stadium General Manager, will be presented with the Milton E. Ahlerich Distinguished Leadership 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 Milton E. Ahlerich Distinguished Leadership award recognizes a professional whose career includes multiple achievements and contributions to sport safety and security. The recipient’s service, commitment, ingenuity, and integrity must have elevated the profession to new levels to warrant this prestigious honor. The award recipient is selected by a panel of subject matter experts on behalf of the NCS⁴ and given annually at the National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition.

“I am humbled to join the handful of other colleagues previously recognized and honored to receive the Distinguished Leadership Award,” said Mercurio. “As a 28-year veteran of large venue management, I enjoy more than ever the opportunity to collaborate and share knowledge, experience, and advice with other industry leaders and, more importantly, newcomers to the industry. When we can leave the competition to those on the field and continue to focus on developing industry-wide standards, initiatives, and sound operational techniques, it stands to reason that we improve the safety and security of all working and attending our events. The NCS⁴ has provided a good platform for that sort of engagement.”

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.


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

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

Dr. Stacey A. Hall Contributes to Discussions at IAVM’s VenueConnect Conference

The NCS⁴’s Executive Director, Dr. Stacey A. Hall, attended IAVM’s VenueConnect 2021 last week, where she spoke on both the State of the Industry and Women in Leadership panel discussions.

The NCS⁴ Instructors Gathered at the Center Last Week for Training

The NCS⁴ training team and instructors

The NCS⁴ brought 20 instructors together for a ”Train the Trainer” seminar on August 5-6 at the Trent Lott National Center on the campus of The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. The purpose of the event was to ’train up’ both seasoned and new instructors on the DHS/FEMA-funded AWR-167: Sport Event Risk Management course and updates. This course was the first curriculum developed by NCS⁴ back in 2007 and continues to be a favorite of jurisdictions throughout the U.S. The instructors begin delivering the course in person next month. For more information on the course or other training offered by the NCS⁴, click the link below.

This course represents a cooperative effort between The University of Southern Mississippi’s National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (USM/NCS4) and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service’s National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center (TEEX/NERRTC), a member of the Texas A&M University System.

The NCS⁴ and Technology Alliance Present Educational Session at ISC West

The NCS⁴ and Sports and Entertainment Technology Alliance had the opportunity to share technology insights at this year’s SIA Education at #ISCWest. We enjoyed learning from and connecting with everyone at the event!
2021 Technology Alliance

ABOUT THE TECH ALLIANCE: The NCS⁴ Technology Alliance is an international consortium of leading architectural firms, service providers, and technology companies dedicated to spectator safety and security at sports and entertainment events. The Alliance consists of researchers, engineers, computer scientists, architects, and other stakeholders dedicated to spectator safety and security excellence through innovation. Most members are involved in safety and security at venues across the US and around the world, while others are seeking opportunities to integrate new and emerging technologies that have the capacity to contribute in a meaningful way. Click the link below to find out more about the Tech Alliance or its members.

This Week’s Must-Read: Gameday Security’s Article Focusing on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Mental Health

A timely article on diversity, equity, inclusion, and mental health is included in the Summer 2021 issue of GAMEDAY SECURITY magazine. These important issues deserve our focus, and “United We Stand” is a must-read article for everyone in our industry. Click the link below to view the magazine and navigate to page 14 to read the article.

Fundamentals of Crowd Safety Course Offered Online

NCS⁴ and GKStill International have partnered to 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. The course offers an 8-hour online interactive experience designed to teach the essential elements of crowd safety and crowd risk analysis. The course is especially valuable to event organizers, as it ensures that those who complete it are compliant with the NFPA 101 - Life Safety Code — specifically, the areas of section 12 of the code that require a venue to provide a crowd manager trained in crowd management techniques for occupancies exceeding 1000.

CISA Publishes Public Venue Security Screening Guide

Check out CISA’s recently released Public Venue Security Screening Guide which offers best practices to stakeholders 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. Click the link to view the publication.

As people in the U.S. continue to get vaccinated and cities and states begin to reopen, 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.


Volunteer Security Staff Kept the Finish Line Safe

Sara Olson-Smith and Chantal Maombi, wearing red ”SECURITY” T-shirts, stood along the finish line on 3rd Street, making sure spectators stayed behind the metal barricades and out of the way of runners on the home stretch. Read More

Spectrum Center Becomes ShareCare Health Security Certified

Hornets Sports & Entertainment and Sharecare (Nasdaq: SHCR), the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place, today announced that Spectrum Center has successfully become Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED™. Read More

International Sport Environment Bodies Call for Global Health Protocols for Venue Operations

A group of leading sport-oriented non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have joined with the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) to launch a campaign calling for independently-assessed health and safety practices at sports venues. Read More

Some Massachusetts Restaurants and Music Venues Are Requiring Proof of Vaccination

Nearly two months after Massachusetts lifted virtually all COVID-related requirements, Gov. Charlie Baker is reportedly not planning on reissuing any statewide mask mandates or advisories, although rising case numbers due to the delta variant are causing some cities and towns to make their own calls both in Massachusetts (see Provincetown and Nantucket) and elsewhere around the country (such as Philadelphia and Los Angeles). Read More

Live Concert Blamed for COVID-19 Outbreak in Santa Cruz County

FELTON — A concert at Felton Music Hall this month led to a sizable outbreak, the venue posted on its social media Monday night. After the Los Angeles-based Grateful Shred band performed in the hall on July 18, one attendee showed COVID-19 symptoms. When the band got tested, nearly all of the members were COVID-positive, an Instagram post explains. Read More

Fans Charge Security at Wembley Before Euro Final, 19 Police Injured

LONDON, July 12 (Reuters) - British police made 49 arrests and said 19 of its officers were injured after confronting volatile crowds near Wembley Stadium while policing the Euro 2020 final between Italy and England on Sunday. Read More