Security management at open access sporting events will be the focus of this year’s National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) Conference and Exhibition National Forum July 16-18 in Orlando, Fla. In conjunction with Stadium Managers Association, the forum will be held Tuesday, July 16 from 12-2 p.m. with a news conference to follow.
The NCS4 is located on The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus.
In response to the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, the goal of the National Forum is to develop a set of protective measures that will establish secure environments at events with open access that include, but are not limited to, marathons (and other road running races), cycling races, parades, festivals, auto road racing, and tailgating activities, without hindering the enjoyment of those who attend.
David Scott, general manager and race director for US Road Sports & Entertainment of Florida, will serve as forum facilitator. Alana Penza, program manager forNCS4’s Institute for the Study of Sport Incidents, will give the forum’s opening remarks. Subject matter experts (SMEs) will begin the forum by addressing the unique safety and security challenges facing event operators, law enforcement, and first responders at events with open access areas.
Scott said that a constant concern for all event directors is what can be done to produce safe and secure events, especially those in an open access venue such as marathons, golf tournaments and festivals. The Boston Marathon bombings highlight the fact that extremists will use weapons, such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs), to target events with open access areas where large gatherings tend to form.
“In light of the Boston Marathon tragedy, I am sure even more attention in the coming weeks will be given to the current issues and what new practices can be implemented,” Scott said. “The NCS4 conference and the panel discussion addressing these topics should not be missed.”
The forum discussion will also feature forum SMEs and its audience exploring various protective measures that could have an impact in securing events where mass gatherings are expected in open access areas. Such measures include security, emergency response, and evacuation planning, identifying possible IED indicators, conducting searches and sweeps and training the public to be more aware of their surroundings.
“We look forward to having an engaging discussion on this important topic, with some of the top people in the field of event management helping us explore ways we can advance security for the safety of both participants and fans,” said Dr. Lou Marciani, director of NCS4.
Established in 2006, The National Center for Spectator Sports and Security specifically focuses on research, education, and outreach in sport event security, providing an interdisciplinary academic environment to further increase sport security awareness, improve sport security policies and procedures and enhance emergency responses through evacuation, recovery operations and crowd management training. For more information, visit the NCS4 conference website at https://www.ncs4.com/conference/.