Sports Law • Risk Management

January 28, 2011: Bomb Scare at Super Bowl Stadium

Since 9/11, the chance of a terrorist attack on a sports stadium has been a very real concern. When police received a call this morning that someone had been observed placing an object in a drain near the Cowboys Stadium, the concern was that it could be a bomb. Remote cameras used by police while the stadium was on lockdown revealed that the object was a harmless piece of trash.

On February 6th, the Green Bay Packers play the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium. In order to ensure the safety of 80,000 spectators and up to 110,000, including standing room, at the stadium, SWAT teams, sniffer dogs and planes will have to be employed. You can bet that security in and around the stadium will be significant in order to prevent and be ready to address any potential terroristic threats or other issues.
Homeland Security and local agencies continue to be on heightened alert after the bomb scare at the office of an Israeli bank in New Year several weeks ago. Similar to this incident, the package in question was discovered to be a greeting card.

If you are planning on attending the Super Bowl or any other high profile sports event, it would be prudent to consider what you will be bringing into the stadium so as to avoid any special attention. In the past 2 weeks, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in airports and underwent a few extra security checks, because of objects in my bags that I should have left at home. My Kindle, a nail clipper, a pouch filled with chewing gum, a metal bowl and other objects I had purchased were all considered suspicious and had to go through security checks several times. Make sure that you look at the website for any events and check to see if there are any prohibited or restricted items, such as cameras, outside food or drink, coolers, or other items that you might ordinarily have with you. Spectators will enjoy quicker security checks and event organizers will all benefit by advance planning.