NFL stadiums to host collegiate sports security event training

Stadiums used by the National Football League are being used for more than the pigskin battle of offense versus defense. The stadiums also will be the sites for teaching colleges and university how to manage security for sporting events.

The training programs will be hosted by the Center for Spectator Sports Security Management and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, and will be assisted by the Stadium Managers' Association. Funding for the workshops comes from a $3.5 million DHS grant, and the workshops will also see involvement from the U.S. Secret Services, the NBA and MLB.

The training will include scenarios-based exercises and discussions for incidents at, during and around sporting events, and attendees will learn how to engage in multi-agency partnerships. Training will also focus on how to assess risks and threats and develop recovery processes, and even cover such aspects of sports venue security as bomb sweeps and spotting weapons on spectators.

Dr. Lou Marciani, the director for the Center for Spectator Sports Security Management at the University of Southern Mississippi, said the goal of the workshops is to offer "a solid sport risk management curriculum and exposure to the National Football League's best security practices."

Besides the 2009 workshops for collegiate sporting directors and security professionals, the Center for Spectator Sports Security Management also does training at its college, and uses computer simulation lab to throw the book at sports security professionals. The center also issues a "Sports Event Security Aware" seal for university which have properly trained and developed a multi-agency team to prevent, prepare for and respond to potential incidents.