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

The NCS⁴ Publishes Industry Report on Spectator Perceptions of Safety and Security Practices and Technologies

The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS⁴) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) has published results from its Spectator Sports Safety and Security Survey in an Industry Report. The research report is the first of its kind published by the Center and will be conducted annually.

The purpose of this survey was to gauge sport spectators’ perceptions of safety and security practices, including those related to COVID-19, as the sports industry prepares to return to full capacity stadiums and arenas. Understanding spectators’ perceptions of safety and security practices, their sense of safety, and related technologies while attending events can help venue and event directors plan accordingly to ensure the optimal spectator experience.

“This is a timely publication as sports and entertainment facilities open to the public. Many sports leagues begin new seasons with enhanced policies, procedures, and measures to combat the usual risks and threats and consider the public health safety aspect with an evolving COVID-19 environment,” said Dr. Stacey A. Hall, NCS⁴ Executive Director and Professor of Sport Management. “We are pleased with the research output and hope practitioners and technology solution providers find value in the results.”

The project was approved by USM’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), which reviews academic research involving human subjects to ensure that it follows federal and university requirements. The NCS⁴ employed Qualtrics for survey distribution and data collection to capture the requested sample size and ensure successful survey completion.

A total of 609 participants completed the survey. The report outlines the results of the study in the following sections: Participant Demographics and Attendance Habits; Perceptions of General Safety and Security Policies, Procedures, and Measures; and Perceptions of COVID-19 Related Safety and Security Policies, Procedures, and Measures. Industry recommendations are also provided.

“We are excited to share NCS⁴’s first industry report and hope that its recommendations are impactful,” said Dr. Joslyn Zale, NCS⁴ Senior Research Associate and Adjunct Professor. “We plan to produce the report annually with the intent that it can become a resource for industry professionals to use when making safety and security decisions.”

The NCS⁴ will administer the spectator survey annually to investigate the general perceptions of industry safety and security practices and the potential impact of related current events among sports spectators, such as COVID-19 in 2021.

Join Us for NCS⁴’s Best Conference Ever!

The 12th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition is 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. Make plans and register now!

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.

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.

How Technology Enhances the Fan Experience

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

Learn how stadiums and races around the country are embracing new technologies to make things easier for fans as they return. Click the link below to view the magazine and navigate to page 32 to read the article.

SPORTS SECURITY WATCH

New layer of security at Champaign high school football games

Bleacher cushions, check. Team sweatshirt, check. Fan towel, check. Gun, check at home. Football fans watching the Champaign Central Maroons and Centennial Chargers this season have an “extra layer of protection” as they proceed into Tommy Stewart Field for the annual rite of fall. On Facebook on Thursday, the district announced that there will be “portable metal detectors at the entry gates” as well as “new guidelines and expectations.” Read more

Brazil-Argentina Match Stopped After Health Officials Storm Field

After a disagreement about quarantine rules, a high-profile match was interrupted by government officials seeking to deport four Argentine players. A World Cup qualification game between Brazil and Argentina, South America’s most successful soccer teams, was halted after only a few minutes on Sunday after Brazilian health authorities walked onto the field during play as part of an effort to deport four Argentine players accused of violating coronavirus quarantine regulations. Read more

The NFL’s TSA experience: Some teams will require COVID documentation before stadium entry

Calling all bartenders, bouncers and velvet rope jockeys: Some NFL teams might have an opening for you. Especially if you can spot a good fake ID — or in this case, a forged vaccination card. On Tuesday, the Seattle Seahawks became the third NFL team to require proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test inside the 72 hours prior to kickoff in order to enter a stadium on gameday. Interestingly, Seattle is the league’s first open-air stadium to implement the protocols, following the domed venues of the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints. Read more

Security MIA as pitch invaders mob Man Utd star for selfie

Bruno Fernandes was swarmed by four fans during Portugal’s win over Azerbaijan, with the trio asking the Manchester United star for a selfie. The incident, which later saw the game paused, raised questions over the security’s actions. The three men ran onto the field in the 87th minute and with security nowhere to be seen, Fernandes posed for the photo before the invaders ran off the field and into the stands. Read more

England home end at Wembley ‘massively overcrowded’ after blockhead fans ‘forced their way into seats’

There was a terrific atmosphere at Wembley as England attracted a crowd of 67,171 for the World Cup qualifier against Andorra on Sunday. Thankfully, there was no repeat of the carnage from the Euro 2020 final against Italy, which could see the FA hit with a ban. Some England fans crowded into the 'home' end against Andorra, causing chaos. Read more