NCS4 Conference Focuses on Sport and Entertainment Facilities Security

I spent several days last month at the NCS4 conference in Orlando. For those who don’t know, the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) is dedicated to improving security awareness at stadiums, arenas and public venues across the United States.  This newsletter featured NCS4 in December, but if you missed it, you can read the article here.

This year’s conference drew 500 attendees, a new record for the ten-year old organization.  Many, like myself, took part in education sessions and gained insights from leaders across the event services spectrum.  For example, I was a spectator in a DHS exercise to help managers plan an effective security budget and to make the necessary decisions of how to protect their most valuable assets – the people who come to enjoy the game or the experience. There was also a good mix of organizations in attendance too, everyone from Walt Disney Security to the NFL were represented.

Of course, I also met with customers.  Event services is an important part of what we do at Unitex Direct. We are a partner to several large security companies across the United States that specialize in event services and stadium security.  Through these relationships, we have outfitted thousands of contract venue staff in everything from polo shirts, jackets, vests and accessories.  We’ve also worked with proprietary staff from MLB and NFL stadiums to provide apparel for their needs.

These relationships have given us a better appreciation for the role security staff has in building a positive game day experience both on the field and in the stands.  The staff is naturally charged with protecting against terror threats or active shooters.  But there are other events they must guard against, disruptions  that are more likely to occur.  An unruly fan, a fight in the parking lot or even bad weather can be catastrophic if handled poorly, and can mean the difference between a fan returning to a venue – or not.

That is why over the years NCS4 has compiled a set of best practices for keeping fans and patrons safe at facilities and events.  Below I’ve included the preamble for the 2nd edition of the Commercial Sport and Entertainment Facilities Safety and Security Best Practices.  You can download the entire 181 page guide by clicking on the link at the end of this article.  There are also 3 other best practices guides available:  Interscholastic Athletics, Intercollegiate Athletics and Marathon Running Events.

Dan Mendelson