Kentucky Sen. Damon Thayer, vice president of event marketing for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup, was among the representatives of professional and college sports July 23 at a seminar hosted by the United States Department of Homeland Security.
In addition to hearing more about the department's role and responsibility, sports officials at the seminar learned about its perspective on new security techniques and tools that target large-scale events.
"Today's meeting provided sports officials and security personnel with valuable information about Department of Homeland Security capabilities and responsibilities," Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said. "Working together with these representatives, we are sharing important information that will help sports facility owners and operators better prevent, detect, and respond to terrorist threats, and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all."
"With the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie just three months away, this was an excellent opportunity to share ideas not just with Secretary Ridge, but with the executives from all the other major sports in attendance today," Thayer said in a release. "Today's seminar is just one more step in ensuring that this year's Breeders' Cup is the safe, secure event our customers and horsemen expect and deserve."
Seminar participants discussed ways to assess potential vulnerabilities; strengthen security plans; share best practices; ensure recognition and reporting of suspicious activities; and other actions that may be taken to protect and respond during an emergency situation.
Other sports organizations that participated in the seminar included were Arena Football League, International Association of Assembly Managers, Ladies Professional Golf Association, Little League Baseball, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, NASCAR, National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, Professional Golf Association, Special Olympics, U.S. Olympic Committee, U.S. Soccer Foundation, U.S. Tennis Association, and Women's National Basketball Association.