I love sports, all sports. I enjoy playing, watching, and following my favorite teams. In the Washington, D.C., area, we have many teams to follow that are just a short drive away— professional football, baseball, hockey, and basketball teams. We also can follow games at the University of Maryland, UM Baltimore County, George Washington University, American University, George Mason University, Towson University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Virginia, and Georgetown University, among others. And a short drive away, we can catch Baltimore Orioles and Ravens games. While many people think of Washington D.C. for its political environment, I think of all the opportunities to catch a game and I try to see as many as I can.
D.C. is not alone, certainly, in having many sporting teams. In North America, there are more than 3,000 stadiums where many people go to cheer on their teams. As we all know, parking is the first and last impression someone has of a trip to a downtown area, theater, or their daily commute, along with those going to school or sporting events. Many of you manage events that provide for ample and efficient movement of people coming and going to these games. I was recently was given a glimpse of what it takes to keep these stadiums and the people attending these games safe.
IPI and its Safety and Security Committee are about to embark on a partnership with The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at the University of Southern Mississippi to provide training and awareness for our members on best practices to address risks/threats, counter-terrorism, security management, and emergency management.
During the summer months, IPI and NCS4 personnel will develop ways to share techniques and tools to provide easy and enjoyable sporting events while maintaining a safe perimeter. I’ll have much more to share when we are together at the 2015 IPI Conference & Expo, June 29 – July 2, in Las Vegas.
In the meantime, enjoy the NCAA March Madness basketball games and before you know it, we’ll be shouting “play ball” as my Washington Nationals take to the mound April 6. I can’t wait.