Sport Facilities Safety and Security Summit Attracts Industry Leaders

Sport Facilities Safety and Security Summit Attracts Industry Leaders

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The following is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi

Now more than ever, stadiums and arenas are becoming quite complex, hosting multiple types of events (both sport and entertainment) at their facilities. To address these challenges, The University of Southern Mississippi's National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) will bring together the top industry leaders in the field of sports safety and security for the annual Professional Sport Facilities Safety and Security Summit on March 8-10 at the National Center on the Hattiesburg campus. The event has drawn international attendees from as far away as Holloway, London.

"The recent tragedies in Paris reiterate the need for further developing a safety and security baseline for stadiums, venues, and surrounding areas," said Dr. Lou Marciani, director of NCS4. "The goal of the Professional Sport Facilities Safety and Security Summit is to develop strategies to implement best practices by addressing major safety and security issues through input from the thought leaders in sports safety and security."

The target audience includes security directors and facility managers, operations personnel, local/state law enforcement, government officials, emergency managers, fire/hazMat and emergency medical/health services, as well as invited solution providers.

Attendees will have the opportunity to dive deeper into designated issues during break out sessions for the following topical areas: Event Day Safety and Security, Crowd Dynamics/Management, Emergency Action Planning, Staff Development and Performance, Facilities Design/Technology, and Risk/Threat/Vulnerability Assessment, and Secure and Safety Aware Culture.

A robust line up of speakers, panelists, subject matter experts will compliment each of the critical issues that will be discussed during the two-and-a-half-day event. The schedule of presentations and speakers include:

"The Changing Landscape: The Intersection of Sport and Entertainment"

Doug Thornton, Executive Vice President, Stadiums and Arenas, SMG

Sport Events and Weapons

Mike Rodriguez, Director of Security, United States Tennis Association (USTA)

"The Changing Sport Facilities Environmental Design"

Algen Williams, Architect/Associate Principal, Populous

"Training and Assessment Programs and Operational Screening/IED's Best Practices"

Scott Breor, Director, Protective Security Coordination Division - Office of Infrastructure Protection, Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

"Impact of Violent Extremists Attacks on Sport Security"

Al Guarnieri, Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

"Integrating Best Practices with the Standard Operating Procedures"

Russ Simons, Managing Partner, Venue Solutions Group

Richard Fenton, VP for Corporate Security, Safety and Security,
Ilitch Holdings, Inc. (Detroit Tigers and Red Wings)

"Operational Considerations for Perimeter Best Practices"

Dr. Geary Robinson, International Parking Institute

Roamy Valera, International Parking Institute

Brett Arendt, Security Manager, AT&T Stadium

There will also be several panel discussions taking place on pertinent topics such as balancing safety and security with the fan experience, and major safety and security issues for the security director and facility manager.

The Solution Providers for the event include Arecont Vision, Axis Communications, Babel Street, CEIA USA, CLEAR, Geofeedia, Harman-AMX, K2 Solutions, Landmark Event Staffing Services, and Rapiscan Systems. The media sponsor is PanStadia & Arena Management.

Cost of attendance for the Summit is $265 per person. Seating is limited. For more information, visit

About NCS4
The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4), at the University of Southern Mississippi, supports the advancement of sport safety and security through training, professional development, academic programs and research. NCS4 collaborates with professional leagues, open access events, intercollegiate and interscholastic athletics, along with professional associations, private sector firms, and government agencies.  It is a critical resource for sport venue managers, event managers, first responders, and other key stakeholders.