The most commonly used technologies deployed by sporting venues include video surveillance, walkthrough metal detectors, electronic tickets, stationary bollards, explosive-detection canines and venue signage, according to a new study released by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4). 

If additional funding was available, facial recognition systems, license plate readers, RFID staff identification, retractable bollards, automated barrier systems and x-ray scanner capabilities are among the most sought-after resources, according to the Venue Security Director Survey. 

The sporting world faces unique challenges when returning to play following a global pandemic, and many leagues, teams and venues are exploring ways to maintain or improve their security operations, according to NCS4. 

The purpose of the survey is to explore professional sports venue security issues, emerging threats and technology solutions. Information gleaned from the study is said to assist venue directors in policy development, increase awareness of technology solutions, identify resource needs, and address training gaps to help protect human, physical and cyber assets. 

“This publication provides insights on sport security operational and management trends as well as emerging threats and technology utilization,” said Dr. Stacey A. Hall, NCS4 executive director and professor of sport management. “We are pleased with the research output and hope practitioners, academics, and technology solution providers find value in the results.” 

The online survey was administered April/May 2022 to venue security directors hosting professional sports teams from Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League. 

Venue demographics, staffing and training, fan behavior, technology utilization, patron screening, cybersecurity and drone mitigation were areas of focus. Industry recommendations and resources are also provided in the report. 

To view the full report, go here

Established in 2006, the NCS4 at the University of Southern Mississippi is the U.S.’s only academic center devoted to the study and practice of spectator sports safety and security.