Outside Temple's Liacouras Center yesterday, a demonstration of a clear-warning mass-notification system could be heard repeatedly through speakers set up just off the walkway that leads to the lobby.
Inside the building, a security and safety workshop was taking place that included about 100 college administrators, event managers and security specialists from around the country.
Temple hosted the event for the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) in conjunction with the University of Mississippi Center for Spectator Sports Security Management.
The idea for the workshop was hatched about eight months ago.
"It's only a coincidence that today's workshop on safety is being held today, but the timing couldn't be better," said Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw, who is a past president of the association.
He said the Virginia Tech shootings and the alleged threat to Fort Dix uncovered this week underscore the importance of safety and planning for venues.
Among the experts who addressed the gathering was the Eagles' Victor Cooper, the team's director of facility and stadium security. He talked about the best practices for sports security at stadiums
The featured speakers were John Guest, a supervisor at the Department of Homeland Security, and Patrick V. Fiel Sr. of ADT Security Services Inc. His company was responsible for the warning system out front.
Peggy Kowalski, associate director for athletic operations at Penn, and Don DiJulia, St. Joseph's associate vice president and athletic director, were on a panel to discuss issues facing college athletic administrators in sports security.
Leonard Bonacci, the director of event services for the Eagles, gave his listeners ideas on balancing security with costumer convenience and freedom.
"It wasn't until the last two or three months that we got serious about finding a date and a time," Bradshaw said. "The feeling was that Temple would be perfect. We're centrally located. We were very happy to be the host. Most of the major conferences were represented.
"We thought we'd have a more regional flavor because this is the initial one. Maybe the timing of the other events contributed to people feeling that it was much more important that they get here and be a part of this."