We support the sports and entertainment industries through innovative research, training, and outreach programs. Our mission is realized by working closely with a diverse group of organizations and subject matter experts to better understand the threat environment, identify vulnerabilities, communicate risk-mitigation techniques, and close capability gaps.
We will be a leading partner with government, private sector, and sports and entertainment organizations to create and deliver critical resources for enhancing safety and security.
Established in 2006, the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) is the nation’s only academic center devoted to the study and practice of spectator sports safety and security. The NCS4’s strategic priorities are guided by a National Advisory Board and industry Advisory Committees.
The NCS4 is located in the Trent Lott National Center at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), a top-tier (R1) Carnegie classified institution for its very high research activity. The Center is partially funded by grants from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The NCS4 offers national and international training and certification programs. A partnership with the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center (NERRTC), promotes in-person courses for multi-agency teams preparing for sports and special events. Courses focus on risk management, incident management, evacuation and protective measures, crisis communications, and crowd management. In addition, professional development opportunities are available for all staff levels via the NCS⁴ Learn eLearning platform, and educational degree and certificate programs are provided through the USM’s nationally recognized College of Business and Economic Development.
The NCS4 applied research goals are accomplished through partnerships with industry professionals and academic programs. Industry research reports are published on national surveys and a research seminar series shares interdisciplinary research on sports safety and security topics. Staff members and research affiliates publish peer-reviewed articles and conduct academic and professional presentations and workshops.
The NCS4 collaborates with professional associations, government agencies, academic entities, and the private sector to develop critical resources and networking opportunities, such as the annual conference and forums, as well as best practices, guidelines, and technology solution whitepapers. The NCS4 also provides industry engagement opportunities through an international technology alliance, product review and operational exercise program, and exhibitor and sponsorship options at events.
How We Began
The idea for the NCS⁴ emerged from a 2006 doctoral dissertation1 about the standards required for effective security management at university sport venues. Building upon this fundamental research, the NCS⁴ is now an international research and education center for sports safety and security. The NCS⁴ works closely with professional sports leagues and venues, intercollegiate and interscholastic athletic programs, marathon and endurance events, and entertainment facilities along with professional associations, private sector firms, and government agencies. Its partnerships bring together professionals from government, industry, public safety, private enterprise, and academia to explore lessons learned and share ideas about best practices, proven strategies, training and certification needs, and technology solutions for sport safety and security challenges. Today, the NCS⁴ is the nation’s only academic center devoted to the study and practice of spectator sports safety and security.
Why the NCS⁴ Matters
Since its inception, the NCS⁴ has played a critical role in helping the ever-growing U.S. sports industry with its safety and security efforts through cutting-edge research, innovative training, thought leadership, professional development, and sponsorship of conferences and industry forums.
The NCS⁴ promotes industry best practices and provides critical resources. Furthermore, the NCS⁴ conducts product reviews and operational exercises to assist the practitioner identify innovative security solutions.
The NCS⁴ team has extensive experience in sports management, homeland security, emergency management, law enforcement, curriculum development, research, education, and training. Combining operational perspectives with collaborative research and education, the NCS⁴ contributes expertise in translating lessons learned into best practices, professional competencies, research, and technology solutions in safety and security.