The city of Indianapolis is no stranger to hosting large crowds of sports fans, boasting six NCAA Final Four tournaments since 1980 as well as the annual Indianapolis 500. This year, for the first time, they are welcoming the NFL Super Bowl and a myriad of football superfans to the Lucas Oil Stadium, a multi-purpose sports stadium that opened in 2008.
According to Hallmark research, the average number of people attending a Super Bowl party is 18. Indianapolis is expecting to welcome approximately ten thousand times as many fans at Super Bowl XLVI. Unfortunately for the city, their preparations are a little different than vacuuming the living room and making special dip.
To prepare for every possible disaster, City officials, law enforcement, and Lucas Oil Stadium workers have been working together since 2008, when Indianapolis officially defeated Houston TX and Glendale AZ for the bid to host this year’s Super Bowl on February 5. The biggest concern for each host city and what sets the Super Bowl apart from other huge mainstream sporting events is the ten days of pre-game celebrations and activities leading up to the big game.
The Homeland Department of Security has designated the event a Level One security event, which means that the federal government can provide incredible financial and technological assistance in the name of safety. The social significance of Super Bowls has previously been likened to presidential inaugurations, thanks to the presence of various celebrities and political figures as well as football enthusiasts flocking from every state in the nation.
In past years, Super Bowl hosts have used a variety of interesting methods to guarantee the safety of fans in attendance, event staff, and NFL team members including players, coaches, assistants and more. At the 2011 Super Bowl, held at Cowboys Station in Arlington TX, fans were surrounded by bomb-sniffing canine units, low-flying government planes, police horses, robots and much more, with an estimated five to six million dollar budget for security alone. In 2010, a no-fly zone was imposed for 30 miles around the Sun Life stadium in Miami Gardens FL.
Some notable and creative preparations for this year:
– Police officers equipped with smartphones will be roaming the streets and the stadium in the hundreds. The handheld electronics will enable them to submit photos and video footage to a central database at their new operations center, or to cruisers ready to give backup. These officers will be on the watch for suspicious activity, including violence, pickpocketing, prostitution, counterfeit merchandise, and other dubious behavior.
– Curiously, Indianapolis occasionally suffers from unpredictable underground explosions in Indianapolis Power & Light’s network of utility cables. These explosions have, in the past, turned manhole covers into projectiles, threatening the safety of pedestrians and vehicle traffic.
While mindful that prevention is the best cure, IPL has wisely invested in 150 locking manhole covers for the primary areas of heavy Super Bowl circulation to protect visitors to the city until it can come up with an all-encompassing solution.
– All delivery trucks will be subjected to x-ray-esque security scans at the perimeter of Super Bowl activity. These trucks will be checked for explosive, biological and radioactive threats.
– The City of Indianapolis is bringing in backup agencies. The FBI, Secret Service, DEA, and U.S. Immigration & Customers Enforcement officers will be participating behind the scenes to ramp up security higher than it has been at any past Super Bowl.
If you’re planning to attend this year, make sure you leave the following items at home, where they may or may not belong: