National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security e-newsletter | February 24, 2021

That's a Wrap!

NCS⁴ successfully completed the Professional Sports and Entertainment Safety and Security Forum last week! Thank you to everyone who contributed in making it a success.

Everyone who attended the forum has been granted access to the recorded sessions on NCS⁴ Connect's membership website through March 25, 2021. The recorded sessions are also available to all NCS⁴ Connect members.


ARX Perimeters offers high security perimeter solutions including mobile fencing systems, vehicle and pedestrian barriers, crowd management solutions, and more. Visit the website below for additional information.

Concentric Security is an experienced Perimeter Security Solutions Integrator who specializes in helping facilities with perimeter security challenges using their process of Assessment, Engineering, and Construction to meet the unique needs of each facility. They realize every venue is different – with various security needs, stakeholders, and site specific technology requirements – Concentric Security is focused on helping each client protect their venue and guests using a proven system to account for each step in the process.

MERIDIAN® Rapid Defense Group is the creator and manufacturer of the strongest pure mobile anti-vehicle barrier in the world. Their 100% American made steel barriers allow for pedestrian and emergency vehicle access, work on a hardened surface, require no electricity or hydraulics, can be easily moved by one person, require no assembly or parts, and can be reused even after an incident.

WESS, a GardaWorld company and nationwide provider of event staffing and security services, announced its rebrand to BEST Crowd Management. BEST Crowd Management will carry the longstanding expertise and demonstrated success of WESS, providing guest services, gate management, perimeter protection, security response and field intrusion teams, access control, parking management, and executive protection and consulting services.

“The decision to rebrand follows from decades of experience and demonstrated success in providing the BEST for our clients. It’s time we updated our branding to reflect our standing,” said Jeff Spoerndle, Vice President of BEST Crowd Management.

Register Now for a Free Webinar Airing Live on Thursday!

When flight attendants cover safety practices on an airplane, they suggest you secure your oxygen mask before helping others with theirs. Similarly, in light of the current pandemic, it is becoming crucial for event venues to monitor their staff’s well-being and reconsider operational processes in order to extend a safer experience to returning fans and guests. This session will explore burgeoning technology being utilized by major sports and entertainment venues to confidently reopen, sustain, and future-proof their businesses.


  1. Gain an understanding of current protocols and challenges at high-volume destinations as they reopen to the public
  2. Learn about innovative technology that supports event staff safety and safeguards businesses
  3. Discover contactless solutions that promote a safer, streamlined fan journey


Nguyen Nguyen, Director of Technology, Spurs Sports & Entertainment

Tony Albanese, EVP Enterprise, ParkHub

Kurt Monnier, VP of Customer Success, ReturnSafe

The NCS⁴ Interscholastic Forum Is Coming up in Just Over a Week - Register Now!

The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS⁴) at The University of Southern Mississippi will host the 2021 Interscholastic Athletics and After-School Safety and Security Forum on March 9-10 in a LIVE virtual format. The objective of the Forum is to address critical safety and security challenges facing interscholastic athletics and after-school activities through case study analysis, small group discussions, and workshop-style sessions.

Confronted with the incredible task of ensuring the safety and security of those involved in high school athletics and after-school programs, high school officials must respond to emerging challenges by integrating and leveraging new resources and information. The environment and threats surrounding sports and activities is constantly evolving, and security concerns facing education prior to COVID-19 have not been eliminated. Discussing current issues and exploring solutions in a forum environment will help high school and athletic administrators, school resource officers, and law enforcement enhance safety and security plans and operations.


Aluma is a risk management and security consulting firm that works with clients to build security plans by identifying and vetting proven safety and security best practices and aligning them to our clients’ needs. For more information, please visit us at alumarisk.com.

Esri offers geographic information system (GIS) technology to support your security operations. Visit the website to learn more.

Visit the NCS⁴ website to register or for additional information.

Xonar completes operational exercise

Xonar Technology, Inc. participated in a product operational exercise with their XonarSafe™ technology, a millimeter wave detection system. The two-part exercise included a demonstration of the technology in their laboratory and observation of it in use at a concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL. The white paper, which will be published in March 2021, provides more details.

NCS⁴ Staffer Invited to Participate in Research Workgroup

Dr. Joslyn Zale

Dr. Joslyn Zale, NCS⁴ Research Associate, is participating in the Community Resilience and Sectoral Dependencies Workgroup, which is part of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), a nonprofit organization that provides resources, training, and advocacy for geographic information systems (GIS) professionals. This work group will bring practitioners and researchers together to examine the current state of community and infrastructure resilience and to identify and disseminate related best practices.

Make plans to join NCS⁴ November 9-10, 2021, in sunny Phoenix, Arizona. Details coming soon!

Select Training Courses Available in a Live Virtual Format

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.


A Limited Number of Fans Will be Allowed to Attend 2021 NCAA Tournament Games

The NCAA Tournament is returning in 2021 after last year's cancellation, and with it, so are the fans. To a limited degree, that is. The NCAA announced Friday that "a limited number of fans at the 2021 Division I Men's Basketball Championship, including all rounds and the Final Four" will be permitted. The number will cap venue capacity at 25% across the six venues that will host tournament games this year, all in the state of Indiana and the majority in the city of Indianapolis. Read More

New Jersey to Allow Small Number at Professional, College Sporting Events Starting March 1

On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy made a major announcement for the state regarding fans at sporting events. Murphy declared that professional and major collegiate games will soon be able to welcome in fans, though the capacity will still need to be limited. The change will go into place on March 1. Read More

Outside Officers Who Work Badgers Football Games to Face Extra Checks, UW Police Say

The UW-Madison Police Department will require an additional layer of vetting for officers from around the state who work at University of Wisconsin football games. UWPD Chief Kristen Roman said Friday that officers from other agencies will need to prove their performance histories don't include complaints on excessive use of force or violations of civil rights before they can join the local force at and around Camp Randall Stadium. Read More

NY to Allow Sports Arenas, Big Venues to Open with COVID Testing Rules. What to Know

New York state will allow sports arenas and other large entertainment venues to open Feb. 23 at 10% capacity with mandatory COVID-19 testing requirements and other coronavirus safety precautions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday. Read More

Fans will be Cautious About a Return to Sporting Venues, Even After the Vaccine

Thirty-four percent of Americans surveyed were more likely to say they wouldn’t be willing to attend any large indoor or outdoor events. Read More

Heat Increasing AA Arena Capacity this Week. What Will that Change, What Remains the Same?

The Miami Heat began the season at a fanless AmericanAirlines Arena, as the organization worked to create and implement health and safety protocols to make it as safe as possible for the eventual return of fans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More