Sporting events give people the opportunity to relax, have a good time and join thousands of others in cheering for their favorite team. It is precisely because of the crowds and the relaxed atmosphere that sporting events have become a target for terrorists.
The two bombs that went off on April 15, 2013 near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, and the subsequent hunt for the two brothers that carried out the attack, highlighted again how difficult it is to keep spectators and athletes safe at major sporting events.
The University of Southern Mississippi is home to the National Center for Spectator Sports and Security. Their annual conference and exhibition in Orlando, Florida in July attracted 450 attendees under the theme “Enhancing Tomorrow TODAY.”
The event attracted sports venue and event operators, managers, security and safety staff, first responders and law enforcement from the following levels: professional leagues, intercollegiate athletics, interscholastic athletics and marathon/endurance events.
Gordon Graham spoke about ways to prevent lawsuits when tragedies happen at sporting events. A mock trial was held to give participants a taste of actual court cases related to alcohol abuse, fighting, and personal injuries at sporting events. Another workshop at the exhibition gave participants the opportunity to discuss the safety and security challenge of drones.
Each participant received the latest edition of Center’s Safety and Safety Security “Best Practices” Guides for intercollegiate athletics, interscholastic athletics and marathon and endurance events.
A seminar was held for those who seeking the Certified Sport Security Professional (CSSP) certification. The CSSP program establishes standardized competencies among individuals holding leadership positions in the sports security industry, ensuring the most current techniques, strategies and solutions are used to mitigate safety and security risks inherent to spectator sport venues.
I am sure that there are many security threats at sporting events that the general public never hears about. I think it’s great that people are working to insure that those who go to sporting events can go and have a good time without having to worry about their safety.
The University of Southern Mississippi was founded in 1910 by an act of the Mississippi legislature as the state’s first state-sponsored teachers college. It’s main campus is located in Hattiesburg and it has four research locations along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.. Perhaps its most famous alumni is football player Brett Favre.