The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) has published results from its Spectator Sports Safety and Security Survey in an Industry Report. The research report is the first of its kind published by the Center and will be conducted annually.
The purpose of this survey was to gauge sport spectators’ perceptions of safety and security practices, including those related to COVID-19, as the sports industry prepares to return to full capacity stadiums and arenas. Understanding spectators’ perceptions of safety and security practices, their sense of safety, and related technologies while attending events can help venue and event directors plan accordingly to ensure the optimal spectator experience.
“This is a timely publication as sports and entertainment facilities open to the public. Many sports leagues begin new seasons with enhanced policies, procedures, and measures to combat the usual risks and threats and consider the public health safety aspect with an evolving COVID-19 environment,” said Dr. Stacey A. Hall, NCS4 Executive Director and Professor of Sport Management. “We are pleased with the research output and hope practitioners and technology solution providers find value in the results.”
The project was approved by USM’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), which reviews academic research involving human subjects to ensure that it follows federal and university requirements. The NCS4 employed Qualtrics for survey distribution and data collection to capture the requested sample size and ensure successful survey completion.
A total of 609 participants completed the survey. The report outlines the results of the study in the following sections: Participant Demographics and Attendance Habits; Perceptions of General Safety and Security Policies, Procedures, and Measures; and Perceptions of COVID-19 Related Safety and Security Policies, Procedures, and Measures. Industry recommendations are also provided.
“We are excited to share NCS4’s first industry report and hope that its recommendations are impactful,” said Dr. Joslyn Zale, NCS4 Senior Research Associate and Adjunct Professor. “We plan to produce the report annually with the intent that it can become a resource for industry professionals to use when making safety and security decisions.”
The NCS4 will administer the spectator survey annually to investigate the general perceptions of industry safety and security practices and the potential impact of related current events among sports spectators, such as COVID-19 in 2021.