Momentum Builds for Sports Safety and Security National Conference
Friday, July 09, 2010
Contact Van Arnold, 601.266.5568   


Full capacity of security vendors and attendees is close at hand as preparations enter the final stages for the inaugural National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans.

The conference, set for Aug. 2-4 at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel, is being hosted by The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi. The conference is designed around the theme: “Balancing Safety, Security and Spectator Experience.”

All security vendor spaces have been reserved for the conference which will feature exhibits from security companies across the United States. The conference attendee list is fast approaching 300 participants.

The conference officially gets underway at 3 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 2 with a welcome by Southern Miss President Martha Saunders. Also scheduled to speak later that day are invited guest Janet Napolitano, United States Secretary of Homeland Security, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“Dr. Lou Marciani and the dedicated staff at the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security are helping transform the way security experts address potential threats to stadiums in this country and beyond,” said Saunders. “This national conference and exhibition will provide a unique opportunity for those involved in sports security operations to share ideas and scrutinize the latest in technology designed to make spectator sports as safe as possible.”

Security professionals already registered to attend include collegiate security operations directors and managers from as far away as Villanova, Texas A&M, University of Oklahoma and the University of Southern California; professional sports league officials; stadium and arena directors/managers; government agencies such as the FBI and FEMA; military security personnel; sports security consultants/manufacturers and emergency response/managers.

Gary Gardner, an original member of the NCS4 Advisory Board, is serving as the conference coordinator. Gardner spent 32 years as an FBI agent and also headed up security for NASCAR before assuming his current role as a private security consultant.

Gardner said the timing is perfect for NCS4 to host an event of this magnitude. “After being around for five years and having a full year of instructional workshops under its belt, the center has grown into a position where a national conference like this is a natural next step,” he said.

“I am genuinely excited about what we have planned for those who attend this conference. We have put together a group of world-class speakers and panelists who bring a wealth of experience in security management and training. I just think it’s going to be a wonderful experience for everyone who attends.”

The national conference will also include a number of comprehensive panel discussions moderated by collegiate and professional security experts. Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré, renowned for coordinating Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, will deliver the closing speech at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 4.

Established in 2006, The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security was created to provide an interdisciplinary academic environment to further increase sport security awareness; improve sport security policies and procedures and enhance emergency response through evacuation, recovery operations and crowd management training. 

For more information about the national conference and exhibition call 601.266-6183 or visit

About The University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at