Thirty-two years ago, Bill Squires began a career in the sports facility and event management industry that would allow him, today, to realize his dream as a highly respected professor at Columbia University School of Professional Studies and founder of a consulting business, as well as an examining and testifying expert.
In the decades since he got his start, Squires has managed Yankee Stadium, Giants Stadium on two separate occasions, ESPN’s Wide World of Sports and Cleveland Browns Stadium, which is now called First Energy Stadium. Squires was responsible for all aspects of operations at all of these venues.
He currently owns his own consulting business and one of his projects was working with the New York Football Giants and the New York Jets on their privately financed $1.6 billion stadium. He is an ongoing consultant to the Giants as well as many companies that provide services and products to the sport facility industry.
He is a past president of the Stadium Managers Association whose members are facility managers from the NFL, MLB, MLS, CFL, motor speedways, colleges/universities, and several international facilities.
Squires is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and was an active duty naval aviator for 12 years prior to joining the New York Yankees.
Given his unique background, we sought out Squires for an interview about his industry expertise.
Question: What is the nature of your expertise as an expert?
Answer: My expertise as an expert witness is in sports and entertainment facilities and event management. I am very well versed in all aspects of how these venues are managed and operated, i.e., traffic/parking, safety and security services, guest services, engineering and maintenance, housekeeping services, concessions and merchandise, groundskeeping, etc. I think my vast experience in this industry and my knowledge of how venues are operated have been and continue to be valuable to law firms who require an expert witness in this field.
Q: How and when did you get your start?
A: The first lawsuit that I was hired to work on as an expert witness was Tom Gamboa vs. the Chicago White Sox in 2008. Coach Gamboa was attacked by two fans who jumped over the wall along the first base line. I don’t recall how the law firm found me, but that was the first of the approximately 40 lawsuits that I have worked on as an expert witness.
The following is a video of the attack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ho1GHJMFJo
Q: What are the keys to a successful relationship with the attorney that you are working with?
A: I think communications is the key to a successful relationship with all of the attorneys that I have had the opportunity to work with. It is also important that attorneys provide all of the case material as soon as it is received to allow me an appropriate amount of time to review the documents so I can develop my opinions.
Q: How does being an instructor help you as an expert?
A: I believe my work as an instructor in the Sports Management Master of Science program at Columbia University benefits both the students who take the Sports Facilities and Event Management course and my work as an expert witness. I have been in the sports facilities and event management industry for 32 years, and I am very aware of how these venues are managed and operated. I believe my expertise and knowledge is valuable to the course and my clients.
Q: What trends do you see in the sports facilities/risk management space?
A: Terrorism will always be a major focus for those who manage sport and entertainment facilities, but the active shooting epidemic is also a major concern. The safety and security of the ticket holders, event staff, vendors, athletes, and performers is paramount, and those in charge take this very seriously.