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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

JVEM Vol. 3, Iss. 1

 Perceptions of Terrorist Threat: Implications for Intercollegiate Basketball Venue Managers

  • John Miller, Troy University
  • Adam Dunn, Texas Tech University


Because of the September 11 attacks and heightened awareness of global terrorism, facility managers have had to transition their focus to include the prevention of global terrorists from targeting athletic venues. This study attempted to discover NCAA Division I intercollegiate basketball venue manager’s perceptions of the terrorist threat as well as tactics and techniques used to counter that threat. Division I college basketball arena managers whose institutions were in the top 100 of men’s basketball average attendance during the 2009-2010 season were contacted. Results indicated that 15% of the arena managers reported that an athletic facility at their institution has received a terrorist threat and 10% had received a threat specifically targeting their basketball arena. Additionally, nearly 50% of the arena managers consider their arenas to be the subject of a terrorist threat and perceive that potential adversaries who are capable of executing intentional acts of violence against their facility exist within their local community. However, more than half of those same managers did not implement rudimentary security actions to minimize those potential risks.

Since the events of September 11th, the people and the government of the United States have turned their attention toward combating terrorism. One way to accomplish that objective is to identify critical assets and then assess both the threat and vulnerability (Moteff, 2005). As a result, authorities have begun considering new types of potential targets, including athletic venues. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recognized this possibility when it provided sport facility managers a warning after it learned that individuals with possible terrorist connections had downloaded data pertaining to several National Football League venues (Grace, 2002). In fact, then FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged that agents had been directed to look at any potential locations that a terrorist might strike, one of which could be a public assembly facility (Grace, 2002). Because they are so strongly associated with the American economy and culture, sports have been considered significant targets of terrorism attacks (Appelbaum, Adeland, & Harris, 2005; Atkinson & Young, 2002). During a panel discussion, Paul Zoubek, Counsel for the New Jersey Domestic Preparedness Task Force, stated that, “Sports are a very symbolic target of terrorism because they are so associated with the globalization of the American economy and the American culture,” (Fallon, [quoting Zoubek], 2003, p. 367).

Prior to September 11, 2001, athletic venue security tended to focus on issues such as crowd control. Because of the September 11th attacks and heightened awareness of global terrorism, facility managers have had to transition their focus to include the prevention of global terrorists from targeting athletic venues. A majority of the investigations have emphasized security at mega-events or athletic events with extremely large seating capacities (Baker, Connaughton, Zhang, & Spengler, 2007; Miller, Gillentine, & Veltri, 2008; Miller, Veltri, & Phillips, 2007). While those are certainly important areas to focus upon, it does not alleviate the need to examine smaller scale athletic events such as intercollegiate basketball arenas that possess many of the desirable target characteristics for a terrorist organization. Furthermore, much of the existing research has focused on actual security precautions as opposed to the perceptions of facility managers.

While there was a spike in terrorism awareness immediately following September 11th (Miller, 2006), there is little data showing what effects, if any, the lack of significant terrorist activity within the United States has had on security perceptions. The potential risk of such an occurrence is often perceived and acted upon in two primary ways. First, perceptive risk regards the instinctive and intuitive reactions to danger. Second, analytical risk relies on logic, reason, and scientific consideration in assessing the potential risk and making an organizational decision (Slovic & Peters, 2006). An effective manager needs to possess a certain level of instinct and intuition in making a decision. However, since perception is the process of attaining understanding through information, being able to logically and rationally implement an organization decision is often preferred (Walker & Augoustinos, 2006). The most common approach to measuring safety culture is to perform a survey of a population designed to assess attitudes and perceptions about aspects of organizational safety (Walker & Augoustinos, 2006). Conducting such an assessment will provide insights into the organization’s fundamental safety culture (Burns, Mearns, & McGeorge, 2006). Thus, this study attempted to discover NCAA Division I intercollegiate basketball venue manager’s perceptions of a terrorist threat as well as tactics and techniques used to counter that threat.

Review of Literature

One of the most applicable studies to intercollegiate sport venues was conducted by Baker, Connaughton, Zhang, and Spengler (2007). The results indicated strong perceptions that terrorism was a real threat. Not only did the studied intercollegiate football facility managers strongly agree that terrorism was a foreseeable threat, but they also agreed that terrorist activity at a sports venue would occur in a matter of time. Other noteworthy perceptions were that most of the football stadium managers acknowledged the activity of September 11th altered the manner in which they thought about terrorism. Additionally, most felt that a larger facility located in a metropolitan area was at increased risk of being targeted by a terrorist organization. Eighty percent of the football facility managers monitored for the possibility of terrorist activity during an intercollegiate athletic contest by communicating with local law enforcement and federal agencies, and by monitoring television reports. Interestingly, 87% of the football stadium managers had an established emergency action plan in place in case of a terrorist attack; however, only 75% had actually practiced their emergency action plan.

The Baker et. al. (2007) study established that Division IA (now Bowl Championship Subdivision) football facility managers generally perceived a terrorist threat to be real and acknowledged their duty to employ measures to minimize the possibility of being subject to an attack. While the football facility managers acknowledged the perceived threat, some of them reported that the implementation of a risk management plan was lacking. Most commonly cited as areas of concern were the lack of training and the failure to consider the Department of Homeland Security’s color threat system to facilitate in decisions regarding specific risk management implementation. This research indicated that facility managers for football stadiums do perceive the terrorist threat as real.

Miller, Veltri, and Phillips (2007) also researched risk management as it pertained to collegiate football. Some of the noteworthy results were that 91% either agreed or strongly agreed that they possessed a risk management plan capable of minimizing a terrorist attack, yet only 7% believed that there were groups operating within their community capable of causing intentional violence against spectators at one of their football games. One of the most pertinent results was the fact that every participant polled stated that they had changed security and countermeasures in the wake of the September 11th events. 

Miller, Gillentine, and Veltri (2008) later researched similar areas within collegiate football, this time investigating how spectators perceived the threat. One of the most interesting results was that although 75% believed intercollegiate football stadiums would be a viable target, 94% felt a terrorist attack at a football stadium was not likely. This information indicates that although people tend to perceive the threat, they do not associate their own institutions as susceptible to that threat. The current study attempts to take some of the same approaches to determine if there is a similar sentiment within Division I intercollegiate basketball, specifically with the facility managers.

An earlier research investigation conducted in the aftermath of September 11th was conducted by Pantera et. al. (2003). After in-depth investigation and consultation with security experts, the investigators established a 38-item checklist designed to be implemented in athletic facilities to ensure adequate security procedures were being taken. Results indicated that football stadiums generally scored higher than basketball facilities. A potential reason cited for this discrepancy was the high volume of events that occur in a college basketball arena as compared to a football stadium making it fiscally more challenging to keep an elevated security posture at the basketball venues. Another explanation was that basketball venues were often used for activities other than competition. As a result, basketball arenas might be viewed as merely another building on campus as opposed to a strategically significant terrorist target. While this study did not specifically question the perceptions of the terrorist threat by facility managers, the specific precautions taken by facility managers may reasonably indicate their evaluation of the risk. Furthermore, it is one of the few research projects that investigated basketball arenas as part of their findings.

Another similar study was completed by Hall, Marciani, Cooper, and Rolen (2007). Various shortfalls were observed ranging from emergency preparedness and training to various technical details such as communication and credentialing. Ultimately, the data were amassed to document trends and a process was established to help create a methodology by which security could be improved. Although this data provided positive information to facility managers, it did not examine their perceptions of the terrorist threat and, therefore, whether shortcomings were due to a lack of execution or to a lack of the perceived threat.

While the aforementioned studies provide undeniable value from the perspective of a terror organization, venues such as intercollegiate basketball arenas also provide a significant target of importance and warrant similar scrutiny. Although Division I intercollegiate basketball facilities do not attract comparable crowds to mega-events such as the Olympics or Super Bowls, they possess sufficient capacities to result in drastic casualties if they were to be the subject of an attack. For example, it has been reported that a sporting target does not need to have 70,000 fans present to have significantly consequential effects (Piccarello, 2005). The top five individual team leaders in attendance during the 2009–2010 season were the University of Kentucky (24,111 per game), Syracuse University (22,152 per game), the University of Louisville (19,397 per game), the University of Tennessee (19,168 per game), and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (17,786 per game) (NCAA Men’s Basketball Attendance, 2010). The final five schools rounding out the top 100 during the same season were New Mexico State University (5,659 per game), the University of Northern Iowa (5,642 per game), Tulsa University (5,491 per game), Marshall University (5,481 per game), and the University of Central Florida (5,411 per game) (NCAA Men’s Basketball Attendance, 2010). Thus, the average of the top five schools for attendance during the 2009–2010 season was 20,523 while the average for the last five of the top 100 schools averaged 5,537 spectators per contest (NCAA Men’s Basketball Attendance, 2010). Although these figures may pale in comparison to the attendance at intercollegiate football games, an organized attack could result in a death toll greater than the official death toll from the September 11, 2001 attacks of 2,752 (Hirschkorn, 2003).

While the visibility of the event is certainly a significant factor, another aspect to consider is the attitudes of sport facility managers. It could be that they simply do not consider their facilities a target or perhaps they do consider themselves a potential target but organizational restraints prevent them from instituting appropriate measures. Regardless, the information may prove to be useful in the better protection of sports venues.


Instrument Reliability and Validity

The distributed questionnaire consisted of various types of questions determined to elicit individual attitudes and perceptions of a terrorist threat with respect to the college basketball arena of the manager’s institution. A 38-item questionnaire was developed for this study. The first four questions dealt with institutional and demographic information about the respondents. The next 34 items, in the form of a five-point Likert scale (1=strongly agree, 2=agree, 3=unsure, 4=disagree, and 5=strongly disagree), were designed to measure the intercollegiate basketball arena manager’s security attitudes. The questionnaire consisted of various types of questions determined to elicit individual attitudes and perceptions of the terrorist threat with respect to the college basketball arena of the manager’s institution. 

In order to ensure the reliability of the questionnaire, a test-retest protocol was conducted on 25 basketball arena managers at a nearby university and area high schools. Several minor changes (i.e. grammar and punctuation) to the questionnaire regarding clarification of wording were suggested and implemented. When employing the test-retest method, reliability may be estimated as a Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient between two administrations of the same measure (Patten, 2000). For this study the test-retest was accomplished two weeks later with the same group of arena managers and yielded a Pearson’s r of .88. Since reliability does not imply validity and validity measures what the instrument is intended to measure, a test for content validity was conducted using the same population to determine the instrument’s reliability. The result of this test for content validity yielded an acceptable Cronbach’s alpha of .85 (Cronbach, 1951).

It should be noted that terrorism was defined using the Federal Bureau of Investigation explanation of “… the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (FBI, 2006, p. 3). The investigators further differentiated spontaneous terrorism from organized terrorism to the respondents. Spontaneous terrorism included unplanned assaults on players, coaches, or officials whereas planned terrorism included items such as bomb threats in which planning, organization, and rehearsal appeared to exist. For example, if the venue manager had received a bomb threat indicating when and where an attack would occur, it was recognized as organized terrorism. However, since spontaneous terrorism requires nothing beyond one person wielding a makeshift weapon the likelihood of mass casualties would appear to be low (Merari, 1978). Conversely, organized terrorism requires a significant amount of planning, organization, and rehearsal, such as the incidents at the World Trade Center as well as the Oklahoma City bombing (Cohen, 2001).Thus, the participants were informed that the investigators were interested in organized terrorism only.


Two weeks prior to the online distribution of the questionnaire, Division I university basketball arena managers whose institutions were in the top 100 of men’s basketball average attendance during the 2009–2010 season (NCAA Men’s Basketball Attendance, 2010) were contacted via email, which introduced the researchers and the purpose of the study. The emails were gleaned from the 2009–2010 NCAA Directory. Previous research has determined that prenotification letters may minimize the possibility of inadvertent discarding of the survey, bolster the credibility to the investigator, and increase the response rate (Fox, Crask, & Kim, 1988; Kent & Turner, 2002). 

One email address was returned during the initial distribution because of an inaccurate address. In this circumstance, further investigation produced a new contact name who received the pre-notification e-mail. It was assumed that the other email addresses were valid. Two weeks after the pre-notification, a second e-mail was sent providing all recipients with a reaffirmation of the purpose of the study as well as a link to the questionnaire webpage. An initial email distribution yielded 32 responses. After two more weeks, a follow-up correspondence was sent again encouraging all facility managers to participate in the research which resulted in an additional seven responses. Of the questionnaires sent to the 100 basketball arena managers, 39 were returned for a response rate of 39%. Baruch (1999) conducted research to determine levels of satisfactory response rate. He made the distinction between studies targeting top management as opposed to those that elicited information from the general population. According to his findings, survey research querying upper management, as intercollegiate basketball arena managers are considered in athletic departments, should expect a response rate of 36%. Moreover, Alreck and Settle (1985) posited that no more than 10% of the population is required to yield accurate results. Krosnick (1999) further stressed that, “… research has shown that surveys with very low response rates can be more accurate than surveys with much higher response rates” (p. 540). Alreck and Settle pointed out that the reliability of the data is dependent on the obtained sample rather than sent surveys. Thus, due to the supporting arguments by the aforementioned papers, the investigators of this study felt that the response rate of this survey was adequate to draw conclusions but not outside of the responding population.

The participants were asked to voluntarily complete the questionnaire and were allowed to discontinue participation at anytime. In accordance with the institution’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements, each participant was given the opportunity to voluntarily participate and informed consent was obtained for all choosing to participate. According to Cook, Heath, and Thompson (2000) response representativeness is more important than response rate in survey research. To that extent, purposive sampling of Division I intercollegiate basketball arena managers was employed. Purposive sampling of Division I basketball arena managers was used given the study’s objective of examining perceptions of basketball facility managers’ opinions of terrorism among this particular cohort. Patton (1990) suggested that purposive sampling is appropriate when the sample is homogenous, as was the case in this investigation, and when the objective is to include people of interest and exclude those who do not suit the study purpose. Although the questionnaire requested basic demographic data about the facility manager and arena, it did not specifically request the institution by name, therefore ensuring complete anonymity for all data provided. Additionally, the questionnaires had no revealing marks and were anonymously placed into a database. A descriptive statistics approach allowed a general portrayal of the basketball facility managers’ perceptions as a whole. 


Demographics Nearly 70% of the respondents indicated that the maximum seating capacity of the basketball arena was at least 11,000; 23% revealed that the capacity was between 8,000 and 10,999; and eight percent had arenas in which the maximum capacity was less than 8,000. The average attendance for home men’s basketball games were fairly equal as 15 reportedly drew an average of 11,000 or more patrons; 11 attracted an average between 8,000 and 10,999; and 13 had 7,999 patrons or fewer in attendance. The 39 participating arena managers represented a relatively experienced group as the most common response to the number of years of facility management was more than 10 years (44%). Moreover, 31% have been employed as the arena manager at their present institution for only one to three years (see Table 1).

Table 1: Demographic Information

Statement Number Percent
The maximum seating capacity of men's basketball arena:
a. 11,000 or more 27 69.2
b. Between 8,000–10,999 9 23.10
c. 7,999 or less 3 7.7
The approximate average attendance for home men's basketball games during the 2008–2009 season:
a. 11,000 or more 15 38.5
b. Between 8,000–10,999 11 28.3
c. 7,999 or less 13 33.3
Number of years employed in intercollegiate athletics facility management:
a. 1–3 years 5 12.8
b. 4–5 years 5 12.8
c. 6–8 years 8 20.5
d. 9–10 years 4 10.3
e. More than 10 years 17 43.6
Number of years employed at the present institution as the basketball arena manager:
a. 1–3 years 12 30.8
b. 4–5 years 4 10.3
c. 6–8 years 7 17.9
d. 9–10 years 6 15.4
e. More than 10 years 10 25.6

Training Methods Used to Mitigate Potential Terrorism

When asked about activities designed to curtail or mitigate an organized terrorist risk, responses again demonstrated mixed sentiments (see Table 2). Eightyseven percent revealed that they currently possessed an emergency action plan in case of a terrorist attack. Yet, less than half required routine staff training designed to address counter-terrorism practices. Of those who met with their staffs, the most cited response (17.9%) was once per year, while more than 64% reported that meeting with their staffs to discuss counter-terrorism issues did not apply. More than 50% of the respondents indicated that they and their staffs routinely met with the local law enforcement agency to discuss the prospects for potential terrorist activities. For those who met with the local law enforcement, 15% indicated that they did so either once per year or once every six months. However, ten percent revealed that they met either prior to every home contest or once per month. 

The participants were asked if they consistently adjusted their security policies based on the color threat level communicated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Nearly half of the respondents disagreed with such a statement. Finally, 44% of the arena managers indicated that they were protected by insurance in the event of a terrorism-related event. Thus, it appeared that most of the respondents did not give the terrorist threat significant value, which takes on significance considering the results of the next section.

Table 2: Training Methods Used to Mitigate Potential Terrorism

Statement Number Percent
The basketball arena currently possesses an emergency action plan for a terrorist attack:
a. Strongly agree 20 51.3
b. Agree 14 35.8
c. Neutral 0 0.0
d. Disagree 4 10.3
e. Strongly disagree 1 2.6
Currently routine staff training covering counter-terrorism practices is required:
a. Strongly agree 2 5.2
b. Agree 14 35.7
c. Neutral 3 7.7
d. Disagree 17 43.7
e. Strongly disagree 3 7.7
How often do you meet with your staff to cover counter-terrorism practices?
a. Prior to every home game 1 2.6
b. Once a month 0 0.0
c. 3–4 times per year 4 10.2
d. Once every 6 months 2 5.2
e. Once per year 7 17.9
f. Never 0 0.0
g. Does not apply 25 64.1
Currently routine meetings are conducted with law enforcement to discuss the prospects of terrorist activities:
a. Strongly agree 11 28.2
b. Agree 14 35.8
c. Neutral 4 10.3
d. Disagree 9 23.0
e. Strongly disagree 5 12.7
Security policy during basketball games are adjusted depending on the color threat levels as determined and communicated by the Department of Homeland Security:
a. Strongly agree 4 10.3
b. Agree 9 23.0
c. Neutral 7 17.9
d. Disagree 16 41.1
e. Strongly disagree 3 7.7
The basketball arena is currently covered via insurance in the event of a terrorist attack:
a. Strongly agree 6 15.4
b. Agree 9 23.0
c. Neutral 18 46.2
d. Disagree 3 7.7
e. Strongly disagree 3 7.7

Perception of Terrorist Threat

When asked if they considered their basketball arena to be a potential terrorism target, 46% of the respondents agreed with that statement (see Table 3). Fortyone percent perceived potential adversaries existed within the community who were capable of carrying out intentional acts of violence targeted against their facility. Finally, 15% of the arena managers reported that an athletic facility at their institution has received a terrorist threat such as a bomb threat while they have been the arena manager at their institution. Specifically, 10% indicated that the basketball facility had received a terrorist threat during their tenure as facility manager.

Table 3: Perceptions of Terrorist Threat

Statement Number Percent
I consider the basketball arena at my institution to be a potential terrorist target:
a. Strongly agree 4 10.3
b. Agree 14 35.9
c. Neutral 12 30.7
d. Disagree 9 23.1
e. Strongly disagree 0 0.0
Currently, I feel that there are potential adversaries within this community capable of carrying out intentional acts of violence against our facility:
a. Strongly agree 0 0.0
b. Agree 16 41.1
c. Neutral 13 33.3
d. Disagree 8 20.5
e. Strongly agree 2 5.1
Your institution has received a terrorist threat targeting any athletic facility during your tenure as the basketball arena manager:
a. Strongly agree 2 5.1
b. Agree 4 10.3
c. Neutral 0 0.0
d. Disagree 22 56.4
e. Strongly disagree 11 28.2
Your institution has received a terrorist threat targeting the basketball arena during your tenure  as the basketball arena manager:
a. Strongly agree 1 2.6
b. Agree 3 7.7
c. Neutral 0 0.0
d. Disagree 24 61.5
e. Strongly disagree 11 28.2


The descriptive analysis indicated that a majority of Division I intercollegiate basketball arena managers did not consider the threat of terrorist activity aimed at their facility a real threat. As a result it appeared that the respondents did not undertake various steps that might assist in mitigating this threat. The results of this study support previous contentions that the basketball facilities have been consistently evaluated to be less prepared than football stadiums (Pantera, et al., 2003). Although previous research has focused heavily on mega-events or intercollegiate football where the capacity crowds are extremely high, even small-to-medium-size basketball facilities present a significant amount of potential casualties for an impending terrorist and may offer a “soft target” (Piccarello, 2005), which is why the subject demands more attention and data collection. A soft target is a susceptible location that is usually not well-protected, offers relatively easy access, and allows great numbers of individuals to continually enter and exit in a relatively congested area (Clonan, 2002; Piccarello, 2005).

Possibly, intercollegiate basketball arena managers might not consider themselves to be a viable target due to smaller capacities than football facilities, which was one of the purposes the current research attempted to explore. Yet, because nearly 50% of the arena managers consider their arenas to be the subject of a terrorist threat, it is surprising that less than half of those same managers did not carry out relatively basic security actions such as routine training and adjusting security posture based upon federal threat levels to minimize the risk. This result supports previous researchers who reported that security personnel at sporting events seldom possess sufficient antiterrorist training (Baker et al., 2007; Goss, Jubenville, & MacBeth, 2003; Miller, Gillentine, & Veltri, 2008). 

Despite the findings indicating that while intercollegiate basketball arena managers previously received threats, reported that potentially adversarial groups or individuals were present in their communities, and perceived that they were potential targets of terrorism, they did not alter any of their counter-terrorism precautions. Perhaps this may be an overall reflection of the safety culture, or lack of it, that appears to be present in intercollegiate venue management. An organization’s safety culture has been assumed to impact safety performance through safety management practices (Advisory Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations, 1993). Reason (1997) stated that to create a safety culture, an organization should initially possess a safety information system but that its effectiveness is dependent on the willing participation of the workforce. The results of this study indicated that although the arena managers reportedly had received terrorist threats and believed that entities existed in the community that could create damage, it appeared that they did not address them, thereby rendering their safety culture ineffective. Reason (1997) further proposed that a learning culture must exist to create an organizational safety culture. Venue managers must be willing to understand information generated from the safety information system and implement any needed changes.

The basketball arena managers in this study might not have envisioned their facility as a target on a day-to-day basis and therefore did not modify their staff training methods accordingly. A potential reason for this mindset may be the venue manager’s lack of education regarding the topic. The lack of safety education may then impact the lack of training that the managers in this study identified. For example, of the respondents who required staff training designed to address counter-terrorism practices, most met only once per year. By meeting only once per year, staff members may lose focus on providing a safe environment. Additionally, new staff members may gain their knowledge of safety through second and third sources thereby negatively impacting the main message. A major terrorist activity, spontaneous or organized, involving intercollegiate athletics facilities would certainly affect a significant paradigm shift in the industry. It is clearly advisable to generate proactive risk management practices via personnel education and reinforcement in an effort to prevent the possibility of a terrorist act. It appears in this study that many of those potential risk management practices have not been implemented. Thus, it is clear that opportunities for organized or planned terrorism may happen when there is an overlap between motivation of the terrorist, the suitability of the target, and the lack of effective risk management practices (Wilcox, Land, & Hunt, 2003). 

Before the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, public assembly managers most often dealt with raucous fans, medical emergencies, thefts, as well as larger-scale fan disorders referred to as spontaneous terror attacks (Goss et al., 2003). For spontaneous terrorist activities, however, the main objective may be to physically act out displeasure of a judgment that went against the home team or an intense dislike of an opposing team without any forethought. For example, fans throwing beer bottles at the end of a professional football game when an overturned call occurred in the final minutes may be regarded as a spontaneous terror attack (Goss et al., 2003; Withers, 2002). However, organized terrorists often have a discrete set of objectives when selecting potential targets they believe will further their cause (such as media exposure, economic harm and number of potential casualties) (Suder, 2004). It is clear that for a variety of previously stated reasons, athletic venues offer opportunities to satisfy many, if not all of those potential objectives, which intercollegiate basketball arena managers must try to prevent.

Research Limitations

As with any research study, limitations exist. First, it can only be assumed that the subjects responded in a truthful and honest manner. Second, these findings may not be generalized to the greater population of NCAA Division I intercollegiate basketball arena managers, especially since the response rate was less than 50% of the identified 100 “top” basketball attendance schools. However, given that this study was an initial investigation, the sample size and data provides valuable information.

Future Research

Future investigations could be conducted regarding Division I intercollegiate basketball arena managers’ perceptions of security since September 11, 2001 and if security changes have been enacted as a result. Additionally, future investigations could replicate this one for NCAA Division II or III universities. An investigation dealing with the university/college athletic department’s familiarity and understanding of current risk assessment procedures as recommended by State and Federal agencies could be undertaken. Finally, future studies could be conducted to determine how university/college athletic departments develop, implement and assess event risk management policies and procedures.


Due to the evolution of risk management practices, it is recommended that sport venue managers concentrate on the security goals established after September 11, 2001. First, facility managers must simply accept the fact that any facility or event exists as a potential target for organized and / or spontaneous acts of terror (Hurst, Zoubek, & Pratsinakis, 2002). Second, these managers must possess the education to be able to handle incidents should they occur (International Association of Assembly Managers, 2010). Third, though it may never be fully possible, venues should work to establish a level of foreseeability in which they address all potential threats (Piccarello, 2005).

While a significant portion of the existing research has focused on “larger” sporting events, it is also clear that intercollegiate basketball games retain all of the traits to qualify as a suitable target for a potential terrorist attack. These venues possess the crowd capacity, public scrutiny, and economic impact to have significant effects on both the local area as well as the entire sport if one were to be targeted by an organization determined to promote their causes through violent means. Although some surveyed venue managers were mindful of its potential consequences, over half did not view the threat as significant and, therefore, did not perform basic practices to minimize the threat. It is necessary to continue to research not only the relationship between terrorism and athletic facilities, but specifically intercollegiate basketball facilities so that the overall awareness of the threat increases and ultimately results in a higher percentage of arena managers acting in accordance with industry standards.


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JVEM Editorial Board:
Editor: Mark S. Nagel, University of South Carolina
Associate Editor: John M. Grady, University of South Carolina 
Consulting Editor: Peter J. Graham, University of South Carolina
JVEM Editorial Review Board:
Rob Ammon, Slippery Rock University
John Benett, Venue Management Association, Asia Pacific Limited 
Chris Bigelow, The Bigelow Companies, Inc. 
Matt Brown, University of South Carolina
Brad Gessner, San Diego Convention Center 
Peter Gruber, Wiener Stadthalle, Austria
Todd Hall, Georgia Southern University
Kim Mahoney, Industry Consultant
Michael Mahoney, California State University at Fresno
Larry Perkins, BC Center Carolina Hurricanes 
Jim Riordan, Florida Atlantic University 
Frank Roach, University of South Carolina 
Philip Rothschild, Missouri State University 
Frank Russo, Global Spectrum 
Rodney J. Smith, University of Denver 
Kenneth C. Teed, The George Washington University
Scott Wysong, University of Dallas

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