NCS⁴ NEWS eNewsletter | February 29, 2024

National Professional Sports and Entertainment Safety and Security Forum a Success!

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2024 National Professional Sports and Entertainment Safety and Security Forum at the University of Notre Dame. The expert panels and breakout sessions provided insight and new, collaborative ideas for topics that affect our industry daily. Attendees reviewed the NCS⁴ Best Practices for Professional and Entertainment events.

Thank you to the Professional Sports and Entertainment Advisory Committees for your guidance and support.


Registration is Open for the 2024 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition

Hurry – the early-bird rate ends April 15!

The 15th annual conference will take place July 9-11, 2024, at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, in conjunction with Title Sponsor, inOrbit. The conference will offer dynamic programming, solution provider engagement, and opportunities to network with fellow professionals. This highly regarded gathering of sports safety and security professionals is an opportune time to share ideas, tools, and proven strategies to help advance the industry. Make plans to attend the 15th Annual Conference in Phoenix and register now.

Thank you to our exhibitors and sponsors

Have You Attended Every NCS⁴ National Conference Since 2010?

If so, we want to hear from you!

The NCS⁴ is celebrating 15 years of its annual conference and exhibition by recognizing individuals who have attended every conference since its inception. If you have attended every National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition since 2010, please inform Lauren Cranford at

The 2024 Young Professional Scholarship Program

due tomorrow – Friday, March 1

The NCS⁴ is committed to educating the next generation of sport and special event security professionals. The Young Professional Scholarship Program is designed for professionals 40 years of age or younger working in the sports and entertainment security industry. The scholarship program is sponsored by Axis Communications and supports young professionals’ educational goals by covering the NCS⁴ Annual Conference and Exhibition registration fee. Recipients are exposed to general educational programming, innovative technology solutions, security expert insights, and networking opportunities.

The NCS⁴ will award five scholarships covering the cost of registration to the National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition, July 9-11, 2024, in Phoenix.

Application Deadline: TOMORROW – March 1, 2024, @ 11:59 pm CDT

Recipients Notified: March 15, 2024

Application Criteria

  • Applicants must be 40 years of age or younger.
  • Applicants must be current practitioners in the sports and entertainment industry.
  • Applications must be completed online and submitted before the deadline.
  • Recipients must be able to attend the National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition on July 9-11, 2024, in Phoenix.

Click the button below to register or share with someone you know who might benefit from the scholarship!


Registration for exhibitors and sponsors is being accepted. Exhibitors may register online using the link below. For those interested in sponsoring, please contact Sara Priebe at to request a sponsorship packet or for additional information.

Registered NCS⁴ Conference Exhibitors and Sponsors Are Invited to Apply for the 2024 Golden Eagle Award

Excellence in Design and Innovation in Sport Venue Security Integration

Applicants from leading systems integration, architecture, design, engineering and consulting firms are invited to submit case studies from successful projects which had safety and security at the forefront of planning and execution.

The 2024 Golden Eagle Award recognizes excellence in system integration, architecture, engineering and/or construction (A/E/C) specifically related to the safety and security of spectators, property, and infrastructure of spectator event facilities. The Golden Eagle Award considers critical design and functionality elements that enable and promote the safety and security of all stakeholders in an efficient and effective manner.

A panel of judges reviews all applications to determine the most compelling projects. The winning submission will be selected as the 2024 Golden Eagle Award recipient, with the opportunity to present their case study to attendees at the National Conference. The winner will be recognized at the Awards Luncheon during the National Conference. Applicants are asked to provide the following project information for judges’ consideration:

  • Describe what risk or security issue your company was hired to address
  • Provide an overview of how your team strategically approached the project/security issue
  • Share details on the solution you provided, including technologies used to mitigate the security issue
  • Explain how the solution balanced safety/security with the fan experience
  • Submit a 600-word case study about the project

Judges will also consider:

  • Relevance to the sports industry
  • Effectiveness and efficiency of the solution in solving the identified problems/issues
  • The use of creativity, innovation, and technology in a way that leads the industry forward

To participate, interested applicants should complete an online application and submit it by March 18, 2024.

Pilot Held for New Staff Training and Development Course

The NCS⁴ conducted a pilot delivery of the DHS/FEMA-funded Sport and Special Event Staff Training and Development course at State Farm Stadium this week. This exciting new course brings together commercial facilities personnel, first responders, and government agencies to improve safety and security training programs for sports and special events. We would like to thank everyone who participated and look forward to offering the course this fall.

This course represents a cooperative effort between The University of Southern Mississippis National Center for Spectator Sports Security and Safety (USM/NCS⁴) and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Services National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center (TEEX/NERRTC), a member of The Texas A&M University System.

NCS⁴ Staff Present at 2024 COSMA Conference

Enzo Ferreira, left, and Jonathan Ruffin presented at the recent COSMA Conference

Training Manager Jonathan Ruffin and Graduate Assistant Enzo Ferreira recently presented at the 2024 COSMA Conference in Montgomery, Alabama. The presentation titled “Safeguarding the Esports Industry: The Need for Further Research in Esports Safety and Security” discussed several factors associated with safety and security surrounding in-person and cybersecurity of esports events. At the end of their presentation, Jonathan and Enzo discussed current best practices to increase safety and security in the esports industry.

Farewell to NCS⁴ Staffer, Traci Johnson

Traci Johnson, Instructional Design Specialist

Traci Johnson, NCS⁴ Instructional Design Specialist, has accepted a new role at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Congratulations, Traci! We wish you the best on your next adventure.

CISA Releases Violence Prevention through De-escalation Video

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is pleased to announce the release of a new resource titled Violence Prevention through De-escalation Video to help critical infrastructure and public gathering location stakeholders identify concerning behaviors and mitigate the risk of an incident of targeted violence. This video provides both security and non-security trained professionals with conflict prevention techniques and recommended practices that may augment more traditional security protocols. This approach can help individuals who have observed activities and behaviors that may be considered suspicious or indicative of potentially violent activity.

For more information and to access this video click the image below or visit:

This Week’s Must Read from Gameday Security: Demystifying AI

The latest issue of GAMEDAY SECURITY magazine highlights an article on Demystifying AI. The article focuses on the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence as two experts weigh in on how safety and security personnel can best leverage the technology. Click the link below to view the magazine and navigate to page 7 to read the article.

The NCS⁴ is the only organization that offers a certification recognizing expertise in sport security management. Earning the Certified Sport Security Professional (CSSP) designation sets you apart from other professionals and highlights your dedication to remaining current with industry trends. Professionals in the sports security industry need to have a firm grasp of public safety measures and understand how to apply those measures in the unique environments created by sports venues and events. The CSSP certification validates expertise in the following domains:

  • Business and Facility Management
  • Emergency Planning
  • Emergency Management
  • Legal and Regulatory
  • Crowd Management
  • Security Principles and Practice

The CSSP certification is awarded to individuals who meet experience, education, and professional reference criteria and pass an exam relevant to sports safety and security management. It is maintained through ongoing continuing education and industry contribution requirements every three years.


  • Venue/Event Security Directors/Managers
  • Venue/Event Operations Directors/Managers
  • Law Enforcement
  • Emergency Managers
  • Private Security Practitioners
  • Fire/HAZMAT
  • EMS
  • Other Sports Safety and Security Leaders


  • Expand security knowledge and experience
  • Strengthen relationships with peers
  • Broaden career opportunities
  • Demonstrate a commitment to professional development


For more information, visit the website by clicking the button below or contact

NCS⁴ eLearning Options

The NCS⁴ eLearning platform, NCS⁴ LEARN, provides opportunities for individuals and organizations to access asynchronous professional development opportunities. Current offerings include the following:

Please visit the website or contact us at if you have any questions or would like to inquire about bulk registration.

Click one of the links above or the button below for details or to register.

International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Events

The IAVM will host two events in March:

Fundamentals of Crowd Safety Course

NCS⁴ and GKStill International have partnered to jointly offer the Fundamentals of Crowd Safety online E-Learning course to address capability gaps in crowd behavior and sciences. Professor Dr. G. Keith Still, Visiting Professor of Crowd Science at the University of Suffolk, developed this certified, accredited course. The course offers an 8-hour online interactive experience designed to teach the essential elements of crowd safety and crowd risk analysis. The course is especially valuable to event organizers, as it ensures that those who complete it are compliant with the NFPA 101 - Life Safety Code — specifically, the areas of section 12 of the code that require a venue to provide a crowd manager trained in crowd management techniques for occupancies exceeding 1000.

Sport and Special Event Staff Training and Development Course Coming Fall 2024

This DHS/FEMA-funded course, expected to be released in the fall of 2024, will bring together first responders, government, and commercial facilities personnel to improve safety and security training and development programs. The overall goal for this training is to provide tools and methodologies for training and developing staff assigned to and responsible for public safety at sporting and special events.

This course represents a cooperative effort between The University of Southern Mississippi's National Center for Spectator Sports Security and Safety (USM/NCS⁴) and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service's National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center (TEEX/NERRTC), a member of The Texas A&M University System.

Save the Date

National Marathon and Endurance Events Safety and Security Forum

The NCS⁴ team is excited to announce the National Marathon and Endurance Events Safety and Security Forum will be held December 3-4, 2024, in Virginia Beach, Va. Mark your calendar and make plans to attend!

Duke's Kyle Filipowski injured by fan in Wake's court storming

Wake Forest did everything it needed Saturday to take a major step toward earning an NCAA tournament bid, a moment that sent its celebrating fans sprinting onto the court as the clock hit zero. That moment of exuberance left Duke star Kyle Filipowski hobbled after a collision with a fan, reigniting discussions about the dangers of court storming and overshadowing the afterglow of the Demon Deacons' 83-79 win against the eighth-ranked Blue Devils. Read more

Caitlin Clark incident at Ohio State raises concerns about how to make storming court safe

Purdue's Matt Painter was just the latest college basketball coach to bemoan the dangers of fans storming the court after his top-ranked Boilermakers lost at Nebraska on Jan. 9. Read more

The Cubs and the city of Chicago are talking about enhanced security around Wrigley Field

The Chicago Cubs are talking with City Hall about how to fund $30 million in security enhancements surrounding Wrigley Field. Read more

Houston World Cup leaders preparing for massive influx of visitors for 2026 FIFA World Cup matches

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- More than two years ahead of the first match of the 2026 World Cup in Houston, local organizers are already hard at work. The immediate focus is on security and transportation plans for the largest event Houston has ever hosted. The expanded field of 48 nations in the '26 World Cup means Houston will serve as a host city for the largest sporting event in history. Read more

Hundreds of officers tried to protect the Super Bowl parade. Here's why it wasn't enough.

The security presence at the Chiefs’ Super Bowl celebration in Kansas City, Missouri, on Wednesday was intense, but experts aren't surprised that hundreds of law enforcement officers weren't able to prevent the deadly shooting and chaos that unfolded. Read more

Calcasieu Parish Schools Boost Security with Weapons Detectors at Three High Schools

Discover how the Calcasieu Parish School Board is taking a proactive approach to campus safety by installing weapons detectors at high schools, fostering a secure learning environment for all members. Read more

2024 RNC security: How Milwaukee streets will be impacted

MILWAUKEE — In preparation for the 2024 Republican National Convention, the U.S. Secret Service released a general impact map indicating areas in Milwaukee that will be affected by the event's security measures. Read more