Commercial Sport and Entertainment Facilities Safety and Security





Sports and entertainment events are an important part of American culture representing what is estimated to be a $40 billion dollar a year industry. The development of best practices in safety and security for commercial sports and entertainment facilities addresses the current need to standardize practices and procedures in venue and event protection. Due to the large crowds in attendance at high profile sports and entertainment events, as well as the iconic value these venues possess, there are a host of potential risks and threats that must be addressed. The Commercial Sports and Entertainment Facilities Safety and Security Best Practices Guide provides a comprehensive overview of important planning components and implementation strategies for safety and security operations at major sports venues.


Addressing the complex challenging of protecting people, property, information, and infrastructure is of significant importance. The threat environment surrounding high-profile sport and entertainment events is constantly evolving. As a result, security plans should be considered living documents that respond to emerging challenges by integrating and leveraging new resources and information. Identifying relevant issues in sport safety and security is key component in establishing a standard of continuous improvement by which sport leagues, entertainment companies, venue owners/stakeholders, and event operators can review and enhance safety and security plans and operations. The Best Practices Guide is intended to assist venue security and event management teams in developing, implementing and improving their safety and security plans and procedures.


The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at the University of Southern Mississippi recognizes the inherent need for providing effective safety and security for stadiums and arenas. To promote a consistent methodology for security planning for professional sport facilities and entertainment venues, the Center established an annual National Commercial Sports and Entertainment Facilities Safety and Security Summit. The Summit brings together representatives from professional sport and entertainment facilities including event operations directors/managers, security directors/managers, league affiliates, private security companies, and representatives from federal, state and local public safety agencies to address current safety and security issues, identify solutions and to propose future best practices and implementation strategies.


The discussions with security experts at the Summit, along with personal interviews and a comprehensive review of literature, including existing security plans and operational procedures, government publications such as the SAFETY ACT, academic research reports, and published articles contributed to the formation of these best practices. Based on the literature review, interviews, Summit discussions and expert vetting, the NCS4 constructed a matrix of guidelines for commercial sport and entertainment facilities safety and security planning and operations. Leading experts in the field of sports safety and security reviewed the proposed standards or best practices and provided feedback on the technical accuracy, relevancy, and feasibility of each recommendation.


It should not be assumed that that the application of these protective measures encompasses all necessary defensive actions for safety and security. Rather, each event venue and its operators should determine appropriate safety and security measures based on the unique characteristics and specific needs. The purpose of the Commercial Sports and Entertainment Facilities Safety and Security Best Practices

Guide is to recommend polices, practices, and technologies aimed at identifying vulnerabilities, mitigating risk, and protecting critical assets.

It may be used as a reference for those responsible for the design and development of safety and security plans and procedures.


This is the Second Edition of the Commercial Sports and Entertainment Facilities Safety and Security Best Practices Guide. Each year, subsequent editions for the Guide will be developed with input from practitioners, subject matter experts, and current academic research

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