Technology / 08.31.22
Professional Sports Venue Security Issues, Emerging Threats and Technology Solutions
Total Security Advisor (08/24/22) Hall, Stacey A.; Zale, Joslyn
A survey from the University of Southern Mississippi's National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) focused on professional sports venue security issues, emerging threats and technological remedies. Participating were 40 venue directors hosting teams from Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League. The majority of venues contract with a third party for security staff and require background checks on contracted and full-time personnel, while 70% of respondents noted staff absenteeism rose since the beginning of the pandemic. Hourly wage hikes, complimentary food and merchandise, ticket discounting, close parking to the venue and hosting staff family events were measures implemented to mitigate staff shortages. Leading training requirements for security staff included venue/event familiarization, banned items, fan code of conduct, standard operating procedures, security technology operation and crowd management. The most common method was facilitated in-person training, followed by table-top exercises, routine refresher courses, e-learning and workshops. Most respondents think fan behavior has worsened over the last decade, with 65% believing COVID-19 restrictions amplified tension between patrons and staff. NCS4's recommendations include background checks on all staff; de-escalation, crowd management and active shooter/basic cyber hygiene training; incentivizing security personnel to boost hiring and retention numbers; early spectator entry; drone mitigation programs and responsible behavior promotion via dedicated campaigns.
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Tags: Security , Technology