National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security e-newsletter | May 13, 2021

NCS⁴ Announces Title Sponsor, and Current Sponsors and Exhibitors

The NCS⁴ team is making preparations for the 12th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition to be held on November 9-10 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. The 2021 conference theme is Reconnect. Reflect. Inspire.

NCS⁴ is excited to announce Aluma as Title Sponsor of the event. Based in Washington D.C., Aluma is a risk management and security consulting firm that specializes in guiding companies through a defined process to enhance their security programs by identifying established best practices and standards in their industry. Rooted in the founder’s previous role in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Aluma’s long history with the SAFETY Act program helps them understand the ever-evolving security landscape to collaborate and build effective security programs with their clients.

“It is an absolute honor for Aluma to partner with NCS⁴ on their 12th annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition in Phoenix, Arizona. As our industries roar back from unprecedented times, we recognize the importance and need for collaboration within a community. Since its inception, NCS⁴ has cultivated that community, which is no better represented than in its annual conference.”

The conference will provide 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.

In addition to keynote speakers, an awards luncheon, and interactive panel discussions, attendees will have the opportunity to attend breakout sessions, explore emerging technologies, and network with peers during the conference.

To unwind after the conference, attendees can explore the 316-acre resort and surrounding the Sonoran Desert. The resort features five swimming pools, a spa, and two championship golf courses. It is surrounded by desert vistas and mountain views with opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, and outdoor shopping nearby.

Additional information will be released soon, including topics, agenda, and speaker bios. Early-bird registration is available through Sept. 1 with fees of $500 for NCS⁴ Connect members and $535 for non-members. Prices will increase by $50 after Sept. 1.

Exhibitor and sponsor registration is also open. NCS⁴ is thrilled to announce sponsors and exhibitors who have already committed below. The Exhibit Hall is already half-full, with exhibitors and sponsors eager to gather with attendees in person to share their products and new technologies. Space is limited.

Please don’t delay! Click the button below and visit the conference website to register for the event or to find out more.

Free Technology Webinar Today – Don’t Miss It

As stadiums begin to re-open, planning cycles have accelerated. Many organizations have been using the pause in business caused by COVID to re-evaluate technology and enhance the spectator experience. The incorporation of modern patron screening technology has been a major point of emphasis, with venues aiming to improve fan experience while avoiding a degradation to safety and security. In this webinar, panelists will discuss technology considerations and the risks associated with the selection and configuration of patron screening solutions. The goal is to develop a better understanding of how these solutions fit into the sports and entertainment operational environment.


Jim Mercurio, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Levi's Stadium, Forty Niners Stadium Management Company

Christian Lau, Chief Technology Officer, Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC)

Peter Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Patriot One Technologies

We hope you will join us for this informative discussion on patron screening and weapons detection. Only a few spots remain! Register now to attend.

Remembering Fallen Heroes

National Police Week is recognized May 9-15, with Peace Officers Memorial Day occurring on Saturday, May 15. National Police Week pays special recognition to local, state, and federal law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. Each year, a candlelight vigil is held at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. The 33rd Annual Candlelight Vigil will be held virtually tonight at 8 p.m. (EDT) and can be viewed from anywhere in the world.

In memoriam of the fallen, please take a moment of silence to remember their sacrifice.

Click the link to watch a brief video about the vigil happening tonight or to find out more.

Hall Recognized as Women Of Live Honoree

Dr. Stacey A. Hall, NCS⁴ Director and Professor of Sport Management, was recently honored alongside nearly 50 top-tier executives as a Women Of Live 2021 recipient. Congratulations, Stacey, on your award!

Dr. Stacey A. Hall

Women Of Live honors industry professionals directly impacting the business of live entertainment and sports, specifically those presenting shows and events, booking and routing tours, and representing and strategizing the live sector for artists, tours and sports across North America while working to make our industry more equitable, inclusive and diverse. Compiled by the Pollstar and VenuesNow editorial teams with input from the industry, a wide range of criteria was used to narrow down the list such as competence, professionalism, ethics, dedication to their chosen field of endeavor, as well as music genres, individual clients they work with, and what they specifically do, have done, and will do in live entertainment. The list was also informed by, but not tethered to, Pollstar’s industry-leading live entertainment data and extensive database of touring histories. (Pollstar.com, 2021).

George Banker: A Story of Perseverance

George Banker, a member of NCS⁴’s Marathon and Endurance Events Advisory Committee, was recently featured in an article on Thrive Global. The article is part of a series developed by the American Heart Association addressing important, timely heart health and wellness topics.

The Bankers following the 2018 Marine Corps Marathon where George earned a medal honoring him as a member of the event’s Hall of Fame. (Photo courtesy George Banker.)
“Don’t ever listen to anyone who says you can’t do something,” Banker said. “If you’ve got some limitations, just ask yourself, `How do I get around them?’”

Please take a moment to read George’s inspiring story of perseverance. Click the link to read the article and find out more about his journey.

National Independent Venue Association and the Event Safety Alliance Announce “Safe in Sound: A Reopening Checklist for the Live Entertainment Industry”

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.

“‘Safe In Sound’ compiles expansive yet easily digestible information and recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health experts and delivers it in a form tailored specifically for our industry,” said Sean Lynch, co-chair of NIVA’s Reopening Task Force. “As we return to these vital social environments, we need to make sure it’s done safely and comfortably for artists, staff, and patrons alike. We can’t wait to return to work and provide the live entertainment experience so many have missed.”

The checklist addresses every major issue involved in producing a safe live event, both front of house and back of house.

“While it is always essential to meet state and local legal requirements, that is just the beginning,” said Steven Adelman, Vice President of the Event Safety Alliance. “Every industry professional knows it takes an enormous amount of work to make events look simple. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented countless challenges to safely bringing audiences back to venues, safely getting production staff back to work behind the scenes, and safely returning artists to stages. We have created industry-specific guidance to put life safety first.”

Fundamentals of Crowd Safety Course Offered Online

The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS⁴) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) and GKStill International have partnered together 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.

Professor Still commented, “We are delighted to launch our new partnership with the NCS⁴, the U.S.’s leading academic institution in this field. Our partnership will contribute to a broader application of crowd safety and crowd science in the U.S. market to help ensure safer and more secure venues.”

The NCS⁴ is the U.S.’s only academic center devoted to the study and practice of spectator sports safety and security. Professor Dr. G.K. Still is the world’s leading expert in crowd science. He is the founder of GKStill International and has consulted for leading venues around the world. His training system is also used by multiple international police forces.

For more information or to register for the course, click the link below.

Now Scheduling Select DHS/FEMA-Funded Training Courses Through August

a few OPEN dates remain

The NCS⁴ is currently offering three safety and security courses in a live virtual format. Each DHS/FEMA-funded course has been converted from the original in-person format into a virtual format in order to adapt to the challenges resulting from the pandemic and meet current training needs.

Each of these courses is designed to be interactive and allow individuals to become more confident in their ability to identify, prevent, and manage incidents. The key principles that individuals will learn range from risk management, evacuation messaging, threat prioritization, and communication. Each class is being presented in a virtual format online that requires five hours each day for three consecutive days.

You can learn more about each of these courses by visiting the NCS⁴ website or by clicking on one of the following courses below:

AWR-167: Sport Event Risk Management

MGT-412: Sport Venue Evacuation and Protective Actions

MGT-466: Sport and Special Event Enhanced Risk Management and Assessment

These courses represent a cooperative effort between The University of Southern Mississippi’s National Center for Spectator Sports Security and Safety (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.

If you are interested in attending or hosting a virtual training, please email us at NCS4train@usm.edu.


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