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Levi’s Stadium GM Jim Mercurio earns Milton E. Ahlerich Distinguished Leadership Award

January 27, 2022

Jim Mercurio, executive vice president of the San Francisco 49ers and Levi’s Stadium general manager, was presented with the Milton E. Ahlerich Distinguished Leadership Award during the 2021 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition’s Awards Luncheon. The event is presented annually by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The award recognizes a professional whose career includes multiple achievements and contributions to sports safety and security. The award recipient is selected by a panel of subject matter experts on behalf of the NCS4.

“I am not only humbled but truly honored to receive the Distinguished Leadership Award,” said Mercurio. “I am quite proud of the family that we have assembled over the years at the 49ers and at Levi’s Stadium, so I accept this award on their behalf as well. Special thanks to the team at NCS4 and to those that attended the conference last month. It was great to see so many peers from across the industry.”

In his 28th year with the 49ers, Mercurio oversees all aspects of stadium and event operations. His duties include executive oversight of food and beverage operations, engineering, grounds, guest services, janitorial services, operations and logistics and parking and transportation. He additionally manages all police, safety and security services and game and event day medical services at Levi’s Stadium.

Prior to being named vice president in 2009, Mercurio spent four years as the 49ers’ director of stadium operations at Candlestick Park.

Mercurio developed the stadium emergency evacuation video for the 49ers that has since been mirrored by arenas and stadiums affiliated with the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA.

In August 2005, Mercurio aided California Department of Homeland Security officials in the first Large Stadium Initiative Program. Having taken part in the development of the Best Practices for NFL Security, he presented to security and operational professionals affiliated with large stadiums and arenas in the State of California.

“Jim is a prominent figure in the sports security arena, and we are grateful for his contributions to the industry,” said Dr. Stacey A. Hall, NCS4 executive director and professor of sport management. “He has worked with the NCS4 for many years, assisting with training programs and outreach services, and is a long-standing member of our National Advisory Board. His experience and knowledge from the field provide relevant insights that help his league colleagues and the wider professional sport and entertainment safety and security community.”

Under Mercurio’s leadership, Levi’s Stadium has garnered international recognition, including the Sports Business Journal 2015 Sports Facility of the Year award.

Mercurio has been instrumental in turning Levi’s Stadium into a voting center and a mass COVID-19 vaccination site.

The 13th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition is June 28-30, in Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit

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