Wiswesser to Receive Champion of Change Award at 2024 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition


Bill Wiswesser, Senior Vice President of Facilities and Stadium General Manager at FC Cincinnati, will be presented with the Champion of Change Award during the 2024 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition on July 9-11 in Phoenix, AZ.

The event is presented annually by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The Champion of Change Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated their ability and commitment to bring about positive change in the sports safety and security industry. Through progressive leadership, this individual’s achievements have made a difference in organizational effectiveness and led the organization forward into the future.

“We are thrilled to honor Bill with this award; it is a testament to his forward-thinking work in the safety and security space, and he is a highly respected professional in the field," said Dr. Stacey Hall, NCS4 Executive Director and Professor of Sports Management. Wiswesser began his career in venue operations in 2006 as an intern with the New York Red Bulls when the team was a tenant in Giant Stadium. Wiswesser was hired full-time after his internship and was part of the organization when they opened Red Bull Arena in 2010, where he participated in the development of the building’s policies and procedures. Throughout his time at Red Bull Arena, Wiswesser worked his way up to Senior Director of Operations and Broadcast, serving as the lead for all stadium events, including credentialing and oversight of cleaning and concessions.

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Squires to be Honored at National Conference with Milton E. Ahlerich Distinguished Leadership Award


William “Bill” Squires, Founder/President of The Right Stuff Consulting, Inc., and Venue and Operations Consultant for the New York Football Giants, will be presented with the Milton E. Ahlerich Distinguished Leadership Award during the 2024 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition on July 9-11 in Phoenix, AZ.

The event is presented annually by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM).

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 recipient is selected by a panel of subject matter experts on behalf of the NCS4 and awarded annually at the National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition.

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The NCS⁴ Announces InControl Enterprise Dynamics as 2024 Golden Eagle Award Recipient


The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS⁴) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) has announced TruVenue Sports and Entertainment Application, InControl Enterprise Dynamics as the 2024 Golden Eagle Award winner.

The Golden Eagle Award recognizes excellence in system integration, architecture, engineering, and/or construction (A/E/C) specifically related to the safety and security of spectators, property, and facility infrastructure.

Applicants from leading systems integration, architecture, design, engineering, and consulting firms were invited to submit case studies from successful projects with safety and security front and center in planning and execution.

“In addition to addressing security gaps, solutions must prioritize fan experience and safety,” said Daniel Ward, MBA, CEM, NCS⁴ Director of Training and Exercise. “The Golden Eagle Award is an opportunity for our industry to recognize those technologies, services, and processes that meet security needs and effectively account for the unique operating environment created by sporting and entertainment events.”   

The Golden Eagle Award winner was chosen by a team of subject matter experts (SMEs) who reviewed all case studies and scored each submission on the following criteria:

  1. Solution relevance to the sport industry
  2. Solution effectiveness in solving the identified problem(s)
  3. Solution contribution to the balance of fan experience and safety/security
  4. Solution utilization of creativity, innovation, and technology in a way that advances the industry

The NCS⁴ congratulates the 2024 Golden Eagle Award recipient, TruVenue Sports and Entertainment Application, InControl Enterprise Dynamics. The recipient will present their winning case study and be recognized at the Awards Luncheon at the 15th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition on July 9-11 in Phoenix.

Find out more information about the conference or to register. Learn more about the awards.

Six Individuals to Receive Young Professional Scholarship at the 2024 NCS⁴ Conference & Exhibition


The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS⁴) will recognize six individuals as Young Professional Scholarship recipients during the 2024 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition on July 9-11 in Phoenix, AZ. The event is presented annually by NCS⁴, which is located at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM).

The NCS⁴ is committed to educating the next generation of sport security professionals and recently announced the Young Professional Scholarship Program to support young professionals’ educational goals by covering the registration fee for selected individuals to the National Conference. The scholarship program is sponsored by Axis Communications.

The Young Professional Scholarship Program is designed for professionals 40 years of age or younger working in the sports and entertainment security industry. Potential candidates submitted an application for consideration of the award, and recipients were selected based on eligibility criteria, responses about career goals, and availability to attend the National Conference.

“We would like to thank our sponsor for this program, Axis Communications, as we work together to recognize and support young professionals in the sport security space. We look forward to connecting with them at the conference,” said Dr. Stacey A. Hall, NCS⁴ Executive Director and Professor of Sport Management.

The conference will expose recipients to general educational programming, innovative technology solutions, security expert insights, and networking opportunities.

“Axis Communications values education, and we celebrate personal and professional development,” said James Stark, Axis Communications Segment Development Manager – Retail, Americas. “We are proud to participate in helping deserving young professionals through the financial support of the scholarship and appreciate the opportunity to partner with NCS⁴ in this impactful initiative.”

Recipients were representatives of the following industries: professional sports and entertainment and intercollegiate athletics.

The NCS⁴ and Axis Communications are excited to announce the 2024 Young Professional Award recipients:

  • Alex Algee, Pacers Sports & Entertainment
  • Shane Burgess, Wisconsin Athletics
  • Adrienne Hutchens, Kroenke Sports and Entertainment
  • Dan Koch, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Travis W. Smith, Virginia Beach Police Department
  • Matt Wannemuehler, University of Alabama Athletics

Early-bird registration is available through April 15 with fees of $600 for NCS⁴ Connect members and $650 for non-members. Prices will increase by $50 after April 15. If you register three or more people from the same organization, save $50 off each attendee registration. The group discount will be automatically applied when applicable. Visit the website for additional information and exclusions.

Visit the conference website for more information.

NCS⁴ Hosts 2024 National Professional Sports and Entertainment Safety and Security Forum


More than 120 safety and security officials from professional sports teams and entertainment venues from North America gathered in South Bend, IN, on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, for the 2024 National Professional Sports and Entertainment Safety and Security Forum.

Event attendees ranged from safety and security managers, operation managers, event managers and facility operators, local and state law enforcement, emergency managers, fire, HAZMAT, emergency medical services, guest services, and government officials. The event was hosted by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS⁴) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM).

“Key leaders and decision-makers for safety and security operations across the country attended the event, and we got to hear firsthand industry challenges, innovative solutions, and best practices pertinent to the professional sports and entertainment community,” said Dr. Stacey Hall, NCS⁴ Executive Director and Professor of Sport Management.

The Forum enabled industry leaders to gather and discuss current issues facing the professional sports and entertainment safety landscape, including exploring solutions that will help venue managers enhance safety and security plans and operations.

Key discussion topics included:

  1. Access and Functional Needs
  2. Fire and Emergency Medical Planning
  3. Staff Training and Development
  4. Fan Behavior
  5. Emergency Communications
  6. Perimeter Security

Angie Nix, Vice President of Guest Services at MetLife Stadium, moderated a discussion on fan behavior at the forum. She noted, “The breakouts are always my favorite part of the forum because of the opportunity for peer-to-peer sharing of information.”

A highlight of the event was hearing from experienced leaders on expert panels, and the ability to focus on safety and security issues in roundtable settings enables the NCS⁴ to improve its industry Best Practices.

“Events like this are essential to stay current with best practices throughout professional sports,” said Bill Squires, Founder/President of The Right Stuff Consulting, LLC., and former editor of the NCS⁴ Best Practices. “Although I come from a stadium background, I am always interested in learning what venue managers of other venues do to keep their facilities safe. These events validate the policies and procedures developed by the leadership at MetLife Stadium.”

In addition to general programming sessions, attendees participated in discussions to review the NCS⁴ Best Practices for professional sports and entertainment facilities.

NCS⁴ expressed special thanks to Solution Partners whose participation helped make this event possible, including Presenting Partners – BEST Crowd Management and Xtract One.

The NCS⁴ will host the 15th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition on July 9-11, 2024, at the JW Marriot Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, AZ. Limited space is available. View the full agenda and register for the event.

National Interscholastic Athletics and After-School Activities Safety and Security Forum Addresses School Safety and Security Issues


Leaders from across North America gathered in Katy, TX, for the 2024 National Interscholastic Athletics and After-School Activities Safety and Security Forum hosted by NCS⁴.

More than 100 safety and security officials from high schools across the country gathered in Katy, TX, recently for the 2024 National Interscholastic Athletics and After-School Activities Safety and Security Forum sponsored by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4).

The event was held at the Katy Independent School District’s Legacy Stadium. Event attendees ranged from superintendents, principals, athletic and facility administrators, fire/HAZMAT, emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, and school resource officers.

“The NCS4 forums are ideal for professionals to discuss issues and develop best practices most important to their respective industries. We aim to provide a safer environment for student-athletes, spectators, school staff, and officials,” said Dr. Stacey Hall, NCS4 Executive Director and Professor of Sport Management.

The Forum allowed industry leaders to gather and discuss current issues facing the interscholastic athletic community, including exploring solutions that will help high school and athletic administrators, school resource officers, and law enforcement enhance safety and security plans and operations.

Key discussion topics included:

  • Access Control and Screening
  • Emergency Communications
  • Extreme Weather Planning
  • Staff Training and Development
  • Emergency Medical Planning
  • Recovery Planning

Dena Scott, Director of Athletics for Fort Bend ISD and NCSInterscholastic Committee member, who presented at the Forum noted: “Participating in events like the High School Forum is making an investment in the safety and success of our student-athletes. These forums empower athletic directors with knowledge, connections, and innovative solutions. It fosters a community dedicated to advancing safety and security standards in high school athletics. Together, we shape a resilient and thriving future for our sports programs.”

A highlight of the event included hearing from experienced leaders on expert panels, and the ability to focus on safety and security issues in roundtable settings enables the NCSto improve its industry Best Practices.

General Manager of Facilities for Katy ISD and NCSInterscholastic Committee member Ben Rolens spoke about “creating a culture of safety.” He added, “This great event allows us to collaborate with our colleagues from around the nation on identified best practices that we can benefit from. Our industry is committed to keeping our communities, students, and staff safe when attending events, and events like this Forum are critical in our planning.”

In addition to general programming sessions, attendees participated in discussions to review the NCS4 Best Practices for interscholastic athletics and after-school activities.

NCS4 extends special thanks to Solution Partners whose participation helped make this event possible, including Presenting Partner – Evolv Technology and Signature Partner - Metrasens.

NCS4 will host the 2024 National Professional Sports and Entertainment Safety and Security Forum at the University of Notre Dame on February 20-21, 2024. Limited space is available. View the full agenda and register for the event.