Jim Mercurio, Executive Vice President of the San Francisco 49ers and Levi’s Stadium General Manager, was presented with the Milton E. Ahlerich Distinguished Leadership Award by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4).
The Milton E. Ahlerich Distinguished Leadership award recognizes a professional whose career includes multiple achievements and contributions to sport safety and security. The recipient’s service, commitment, ingenuity and integrity must have elevated the profession to new levels to warrant this prestigious honor. The award recipient is selected by a panel of subject matter experts on behalf of NCS4 and given annually at the National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition.
In his 28th year with the 49ers, Mercurio oversees all aspects of stadium and event operations, including executive oversight of food and beverage operations, engineering, grounds, janitorial services, operations and logistics, guest service and parking and transportation. He additionally manages all safety and security services, police and game and event day medical services at Levi’s Stadium.
Prior to being named Vice President in 2009, Mercurio spent four years as the 49ers Director of Stadium Operations at Candlestick Park. He served six years as Vice President, Stadium Operations and General Manager before taking on his current role as Executive Vice President and General Manager at Levi’s Stadium.
During his 49ers tenure, Mercurio has become an NFL leader in security and stadium management. He developed the stadium emergency evacuation video for the 49ers that has since been mirrored by arenas and stadiums affiliated with the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA.
In August 2005, Mercurio was influential in aiding the California Department of Homeland Security officials in the first Large Stadium Initiative Program. Having taken part in the development of the Best Practices for NFL Security, he presented to security and operational professionals affiliated with large stadiums and arenas in the State of California.
Under Mercurio’s leadership, Levi’s Stadium has garnered international recognition, most notably the prestigious Sports Business Journal 2015 Sports Facility of the Year award. The stadium was awarded the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology SAFETY Act Designation in 2016. The stadium also received the Facility of Merit by the NFL and NCS4 in 2017 for its efforts in performing above and beyond normal operations to demonstrate an innovative approach to enhancing safety and security.
Mercurio has been instrumental in turning Levi’s Stadium into a voting center and a mass COVID-19 vaccination site within the past year. Levi’s Stadium is recognized as the largest mass vaccination site in California, with an estimated 250,000 people likely to have been vaccinated by June 2021.
“I am not only humbled, but truly honored to receive the Distinguished Leadership Award,” said Mercurio. “I am quite proud of the family that we have assembled over the years at the 49ers and at Levi’s Stadium, so I accept this award on their behalf as well. Special thanks to the team at NCS4 and to those that attended the conference last month. It was great to see so many peers from across the industry.”