Summation of Valid Literature

​The great preponderance of the relevant existing literature focuses on the planning of mega-events (including sporting events) and not on events of lesser magnitude, or on planning for the needs of individual sports teams (Boyle & Haggerty, 2009; Connors, 2007; Fonio, 2014; DCMS, 2008; Jones, 2005). The coverage deals with issues that are nearly always beyond an STTS organizer’s purview. They offer no middle ground or planning for less complex or lower-profile events. However, this literature review identified the following themes related to STTS:

A Focus on Mega-Event Planning

There are a number of papers that focus on the planning of (sporting and other) mega-events. By and large, the authors have written these papers from the perspective of government entities charged with public safety and national security (Coaffee, 2010; Fussey, 2013; Plecas, Dow, Diplock, & Martin, 2010). One report also considers the role of private security (as agents of the venue owner) in “quasi-public” (hybrid) spaces while working alongside law enforcement (Button, 2003; Hall, Byon, & Baker, 2013). Another article by Hall, Marciani, Cooper, and Rolan (2008) gives us an understanding of what goes into the protection of a major sports venue, and pays particular attention to risk assessments and analyses. There is also a great deal of indirect information to be gathered from the book Event Risk Management and Safety (Tarlow, 2002). 

Another relevant source for traveling athletes is the U.S. State Department. It is the one agency that addresses the needs of business people traveling abroad (OSAC, 1994). Since traveling athletes have a similar sociological profile to that of business people, the travel security information provided by the OSAC booklet is also valid for athletes. However, precious little attention is given, to planning for simple low-key or low-threat sports events.

Academic Analyses of Limited Value to STTS

Many papers are academic analyses of the social issues (demographic, geographic, crime, and terrorism) attendant to sporting and other mega-events, usually seeking to identify statistical causation or social policy solutions (Biagi & Detotto, 2010; Chiang, 2000; Crotts, 1996; Horn, 2009). Such literature is of little use to a practitioner except as background information that can help understand the industry of sports tourism.

Growing Awareness of Violence Against Athletes

There is a growing awareness of the causes of violence against athletes in general, and female athletes in particular, from spectators, teammates, and coaches. These causes include various social problems such as domestic violence, substance abuse, and a male-dominated sports cult (Crowley, 2014; Fasting, 2007, 2015; Palmer, 2011). More generally, the stalking of celebrities, including elite and professional athletes, for various motives and without regard to sex, can also result in stress and violence against the athletes (Hyman & Sierra, 2007; Rosenfeld, 2004; Meloy, 2003).

A Bounty of Medical Information

We found publications that directly address the medical and health needs of traveling athletes, whether the athletes are traveling alone or as part of a team (Heggie, 2009). One article in particular provides a thorough discussion of health concerns and provides checklist for athletes prior to and during travel (Kary, 2007).

In a different vein, LaVetter and Kim (2010) point out a major safety hazard for collegiate sports teams: the use of 15-passenger vans for ground transportation. The National Health and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has demonstrated that these vans are excessively risky; yet, despite the fact that this mode of transportation has resulted in many injuries and deaths among collegiate athletes, their use continues. Apart from this caution, LaVetter also offers many safety and security suggestions for college athletes.

Other STTS issues, such as Freifelder’s (1983) discussion of the cost of sports team security, can be found on a piecemeal basis but do not constitute a theme.

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