The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) will collaborate with key stakeholders to pave “The Way Forward” during the 2020 National Sports Safety and Security Conference. This year's conference will be hosted on a virtual platform from October 12-14, 2020 and will be available on-demand for 12 months after the event ends.

“I’m very excited about the quality of programming and speakers at this year’s event,” said Dr. Stacey Hall, NCS4 Interim Director and College of Business and Economic Development Sport Management Professor at USM. “We will be covering topics deemed important by our industry stakeholders, and attendees will have the opportunity to engage with technology solution providers.”

Keynote presentations from Thomas P. Bossert, Former U.S. Homeland Security Advisor, Trump Administration, and Don Garber, Commissioner, Major League Soccer, kick-off the conference. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to sit in on a variety of presentations throughout the three-day conference.

“Major League Soccer (MLS) has always been committed to providing an exceptional guest experience in a safe and secure environment. During these unprecedented times we have relied on our relationships and the collaboration it brings to work through current challenges,” said Jeff Stonebreaker, MLS VP Safety and Security. “We are looking forward to the conference as an opportunity to share and to hopefully help others as they navigate these challenges as well.”

More to expect:

  • Hear from industry experts and leaders in the field on what they are doing now, as we face the unprecedented realities of COVID-19 and its effects on the sport and entertainment industry. Concerts and Live Events: Challenges, Outlooks and Strategies for Non-traditional Venues will focus on one of the hardest hit business sectors from the COVID-19 pandemic. Non-traditional spaces face a unique set of challenges whether it be outdoor festivals, concerts or fairs, athletic events such as endurance events, and political events. This panel delves into how best to reopen, how to push policy and procedures to regulators, and how to balance public health information and advisement into existing security and safety plans.
  • Learn solutions on the safe reconvening of sports and entertainment events and collaborate together with key stakeholders to embrace challenges and develop solutions. Navigating the Bubble: Health Safety and Security will explore preparation for the NHL restart and NBA start, life inside the “bubble”, and lessons learned that can be applied to opening other venues and enterprises.
  • Gain knowledge from expert panels designed to facilitate current conversations and answer questions. In A Guide to Returning to Play, a panel of experts in health, safety, fan experience, law enforcement and venue operations will discuss the challenges they face, what they have learned, and how they are prepared to go forward.
  • On day two of the conference, guests will choose from one of six breakout sessions ranging in topics from leveraging data for safety and security to disinfecting large venues, risk management and leveraging technology.