Fans who spot unruly behavior or other related incidents will be able to report those issues directly from their seats when the Southern Miss Golden Eagles host the Central Florida Knights in college football action Saturday, Sept. 12 at M.M. Roberts Stadium.
The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at Southern Miss, in conjunction with the university’s athletic department, plans to conduct an inaugural test of the unique text-messaging system created by In Stadium Solutions (ISS), a national software company based in South Florida.
Banners and other signage at the stadium will instruct fans how to send a message from their cell phones directly to ISS, which will then relay the report to a command post within the stadium. Fans can simply text “41513”, followed by “USM”, followed by a space, then a brief description of the incident and location. Proper security and/or emergency personnel will then be dispatched to the area in question.
“This will be our first time to use the system and we’re really excited about the opportunity this provides to monitor security at a venue like this,” said Robert McDavid, program director at the NCS4. “One great thing about this system is that it offers a quiet, discreet way for fans to assist us in stadium security.”
Bob Hopkins, chief of police at Southern Miss, said the number of security, safety and emergency responders will number between 150 and 200 at Saturday’s home football game. He views the new text messaging program as a valuable tool in maintaining a safe and enjoyable game atmosphere.
“This added technology will certainly help us in the command post better address any issues the fans might have,” he said. “A lot of times fans have a hard time getting the attention of an usher or a police officer. With this system, they can alert us right away and we can respond back with a text to let them know that the appropriate help is on the way.”
In Stadium Solutions has already marketed and established the text system at approximately 60 NCAA universities, a dozen National Football League teams and several other professional sports venues. The system has also been employed at marquee sporting events such as the 2009 BCS national championships and 2009 Super Bowl.
“In the old days, a person might have to leave their family to report an incident of some type,” said Scott Meyers, vice president of sales & marketing at ISS. “With this software, we’ve made it possible for fans to interact with security and emergency officials directly from their seats. It is a proven, effective alert system.”
For more information about the text system, visit www.instadiumsolutions.com
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 www.usm.edu.