Standards for Effective Security Management of University Sport Venues

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Performance and Recreation

First Advisor

Dennis Phillips

Advisor Department

Human Performance and Recreation


The purpose of this study was to identify standards for effective security management of university sport venues. In March 2005, the Department of Homeland Security identified the truck bombing of a sports arena as a possible terrorist strike. It is imperative that universities take necessary steps to secure their stadiums and campuses against potential threats. Until now, there have been no documented research-based standards for university sport venue security. The researcher developed standards through a series of interviews and a three-round Delphi study. Purposeful sampling was used to select participants for both the interviews and Delphi panel. Four sport security personnel participated in the interview process and an initial set of standards were developed and used for the Delphi study. The 28 member Delphi panel included the athletic facility manager, campus police chief, local sheriff, and local emergency management director responsible for game day security operations at seven state-supported universities in Mississippi. Importance ratings for developed standards were assessed on a 5-point Likert scale during Round 2 and 3. The initial interview panel and Delphi panel produced 134 standards in eleven categories: Perimeter Control, Access Control, Credentialing, Physical Protection Systems, Risk Management, Emergency Management, Recovery Procedures, Communications, Security Personnel, Training, Modeling, and Simulation, and WMD--Toxic Materials Protection. Twenty-two participants successfully completed all three rounds of the Delphi study (78.6%). Standards have now been identified to assist and support university sports event security teams in their quest to protect our most valuable assets--our people!