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National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security e-newsletter | April 22, 2021

2021 Conference Announced

The NCS⁴ team announces 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.

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.

Click the button below and visit the conference website to register for the event or find out more!

NCS⁴ Webinars Make Impact

NCS⁴ is proud to announce that we have now effectively trained more than 3,000 individuals through our webinar series. We continue to partner with leading experts working in the field to bring you webinars that are relevant and useful. Thank you for helping make this initiative a success!

Free Technology Webinar on Patron Screening and Weapons Detection Set for May

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.

PANELISTS:

Jim Mercurio, Executive Vice President and General Manager, 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.

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.

ICYMI: First Research Seminar Available on Demand

The NCS⁴ has begun the development of an index that evaluates stadia and arenas by their vulnerability to quantifiable problems. It aims to help those responsible for the safety and security of venues identify problems and improve outcomes, as well as raise the profile of professionals charged with keeping spectators safe and secure. This seminar provides unique background related to the history and motivation behind the index, what has been done so far, and what we would like to incorporate into future iterations.

PANELISTS:

Justin Kurland, PhD, Director of Research, NCS⁴

Joslyn Zale, PhD, Research Associate, NCS⁴

Tyler Jacobs, Graduate Research Assistant, NCS⁴

Dr. Justin Kurland

Dr. Justin Kurland Publishes Research

Director of Research, Dr. Justin Kurland, publishes in top tier journal – The Lancet. Check out his latest article on the effect of mass gatherings during sporting events on the local incidence of COVID-19.

Dr. Joslyn Zale

Dr. Joslyn Zale Shares Research at Events

Dr. Joslyn Zale, NCS⁴ Research Associate and CSSP Manager, co-organized a session at the 2021 American Association of Geographers (AAG) annual meeting on this month entitled, “GIScience and Hazards in the Era of Big Data.” The presentations used big data to examine various aspects of hazard resilience, risk assessment, and emergency mitigation and preparedness for earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires at several locations around the world. She also co-presented a paper titled, “Optimization Stadium Evacuation with Geo-computation and Affordance Theory,” which examined the effects of including psychological and physical characteristics of evacuees on evacuation time.

Dr. Zale served as a panelist for a session titled, “Digital Humanities and Mapping” at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Digital Lagniappe Conference also held this month. She discussed the use of GIS and mapping in her research, which includes using GIS and statistical analyses to examine vulnerability and resilience to hazard events, often as they relate to sports. She also touched on learning GIS for individuals for whom it is not their primary research area or job and ethics and privacy with respect to geospatial data and other types of data.

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

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.

SPORTS SECURITY WATCH

About Staples Center’s No-Bag Policy: Fans Still Aren’t Having It

It’s understood that going to a game in a pandemic is going to require a different code of conduct, but when Staples Center posted on Twitter about its new COVID-19 protocols on Wednesday, fans were confused and upset at the venue’s new no-bag policy. The arena said the rule was put in place for efficiency and to be as contactless as possible in order to comply with guidelines from the state and county as well as the NBA and NHL. Read More

DC Approves Some Fans at Capital One Arena, Expands Capacity Limits for Nats, DC United

Wizards and Caps fans rejoice: Fans will soon be able to attend games in person — though in very limited numbers to start with. D.C. and Monumental Sports & Entertainment have reached an agreement for Capital One Arena to open its doors to fans up to 10% capacity, or around 2,100 people, according to Monumental Sports Chief Administrative Officer Monica Dixon. Read More

Should Vaccine Passports Be Attendance Requirement?

The Buffalo Bills earlier this week became the first NFL franchise to indicate that a vaccine passport will be required to attend games during the 2021 season at newly renamed Highmark Stadium, which could go from hosting zero fans during the 2020 regular season to returning to its full capacity of 71,608. Read More

Yard Goats Announce Fan Safety Protocols For Dunkin’ Donuts Park This Season

The Hartford Yard Goats will welcome fans back to Dunkin’ Donuts Park this season, beginning with their home opener on May 11. The Yard Goats have announced health and safety protocols that fans must adhere to while at the park. Read More

Tokyo 2020 CEO: We Will Prioritize Safety, Security at Olympic Torch Relay

“Today marks the start of the Tokyo 2020. After one year’s full preparation, the torch has appeared once again in front of the world,” said Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto at a media briefing following the first day of the Olympic Torch Relay on Thursday. Read More

TOKYO OLYMPICS CHIEF COMMITS TO GAMES AS INFECTIONS SURGE

Tokyo’s Olympics chief said on Friday that Japan was committed to holding a safe Games this summer, as a surge in COVID-19 cases prompted an expansion of contagion controls and with fresh calls for the Games to again be postponed or cancelled. Read More