Mercurio Presented with Milton E. Ahlerich Distinguished Leadership Award at the NCS4’s 12th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition
Tue, 12/07/2021 - 10:42am | By: NCS⁴ Staff
Pictured left to right: 2021 Milton E. Ahlerich Distinguished Leadership Award winner Jim Mercurio, Executive Vice President of the San Francisco 49ers and Levi’s Stadium General Manager; Cathy Lanier, Chief Security Officer, NFL; and Dr. Stacey A. Hall, NCS4 Executive Director and Professor of Sport Management, The University of Southern Mississippi.
Jim Mercurio, Executive Vice President of the San Francisco 49ers and Levi’s Stadium General Manager, was presented with the Milton E. Ahlerich Distinguished Leadership Award during the 2021 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition’s Awards Luncheon on Nov. 10. The event is presented annually by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi.
The Milton E. Ahlerich Distinguished Leadership award recognizes a professional whose career includes multiple achievements and contributions to sport safety and security. The recipient’s service, commitment, ingenuity, and integrity must have elevated the profession to new levels to warrant this prestigious honor. The award recipient is selected by a panel of subject matter experts on behalf of the NCS4 and given annually at the National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition.
“I am not only humbled, but truly honored to receive the Distinguished Leadership Award,” said Mercurio. “I am quite proud of the family that we have assembled over the years at the 49ers and at Levi’s Stadium, so I accept this award on their behalf as well. Special thanks to the team at NCS4 and to those that attended the conference last month. It was great to see so many peers from across the industry.”
In his 28th year with the 49ers, Mercurio oversees all aspects of stadium and event operations, including executive oversight of food and beverage operations, engineering, grounds, guest services, janitorial services, operations and logistics, and parking and transportation. He additionally manages all police, safety and security services, and game and event day medical services at Levi’s Stadium.
Prior to being named vice president in 2009, Mercurio spent four years as the 49ers Director of Stadium Operations at Candlestick Park. He served six years as Vice President, Stadium Operations and General Manager before taking on his current role as Executive Vice President and General Manager, Levi’s Stadium.
During his 49ers tenure, Mercurio has become an NFL leader in security and stadium management. He developed the stadium emergency evacuation video for the 49ers that has since been mirrored by arenas and stadiums affiliated with the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NCAA.
In August 2005, Mercurio was influential in aiding the California Department of Homeland Security officials in the first Large Stadium Initiative Program (LSI). Having taken part in the development of the Best Practices for NFL Security, he presented to security and operational professionals affiliated with large stadiums and arenas in the State of California.
“Jim is a prominent figure in the sports security arena, and we are grateful for his contributions to the industry,” said Dr. Stacey A. Hall, NCS4 Executive Director and Professor of Sport Management. “He has worked with the NCS4 for many years, assisting with training programs and outreach services, and is a long-standing member of our National Advisory Board. His experience and knowledge from the field provide relevant insights that help his league colleagues and the wider professional sport and entertainment safety and security community.”
Under Mercurio’s leadership, Levi’s Stadium has garnered international recognition, most notably the prestigious Sports Business Journal 2015 Sports Facility of the Year award. The stadium was awarded the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology SAFETY Act Designation in 2016. The stadium also received the Facility of Merit by the NFL and the NCS4 in 2017 for its efforts in performing above and beyond normal operations to demonstrate an innovative approach to enhancing safety and security.
Mercurio was honored with the prestigious NCS4 Professional of the Year Award in 2016, which recognizes a professional in the field who has enhanced venue safety and security operations.
Mercurio has been instrumental in turning Levi’s Stadium into a voting center and a mass COVID-19 vaccination site within the past year. Levi’s Stadium is recognized as the largest mass vaccination site in California, with an estimated 250K+ people likely to have been vaccinated by June 2021.
The 13th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition is slated for June 28-30, 2022, in Orlando. Registration opens soon. For more information, visit ncs4.usm.edu/conference.
About the Annual Conference:
The 12th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition was held in Phoenix at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa on Nov. 9-10. The conference attracted over 400 attendees and 60 exhibitors representing safety and security professionals in professional sport leagues, intercollegiate athletics, interscholastic athletics, marathon and endurance events, and sport and entertainment facilities, as well as those who provide safety and security products and services to the industry.
Established in 2006, the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS⁴) is the nation’s only academic center devoted to the study and practice of sports safety and security. The NCS4 is partially underwritten by grants from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The NCS4 mission focuses on three key pillars – Training and Education, Research, and Outreach. For more information about NCS4, call 601.266.6183 or visit ncs4.usm.edu.