Sports Law • Risk Management

Super Bowl Organizers Ramp Up Security

“From the minute they get on a plane, visitors to Indianapolis should expect to be watched, sniffed and pawed as security around the Super Bowl XLVI host city tightens. Air marshals will be on flights, and bloodhounds will roam the airport. Cameras line the streets, and helicopters hover in the sky. Cops at every corner; security at every stop,” according to John Tuohy of

On Friday night, approximately 50,000 people attended a free concert by the band LMFAO as part of the Super Bowl celebration. Eleven people sustained minor injuries, which were mostly shortness of breath or scraped knees. Organizers commented that they were not having any problems with overcrowding and additional downtown streets were closed off to traffic to accommodate the hoards of people. Rumors of stage collapses, gunshots and stampedes generated on Twitter were false and there have been few problems leading up to the big event.

Preparations for security at this year’s Super Bowl have been extensive, utilizing the U.S. military, federal agencies and police. Plans are in place to address all ranges of criminal activity, from pickpocketing to terrorist assaults. Approximately 70,000 fans are expected to watch the face off between the New York Giants and New England Patriots and more than 140,000 people are expected in the Indianapolis downtown area this weekend—the highest concentration of people ever for a Super Bowl. Because of this, extraordinary security and safety measures are in place. Bomb sweeps have been conducted continuously all week by one of the security forces’ special units, a “HIT team”. Airplanes and helicopters are flying overhead, monitory for radiation and biological agents and are also prepared to respond to aviation threats. However, there is a 30-mile no-fly zone over the Indianapolis are during the event.
Giant x-ray machines are being used by police to scan vehicles entering the stadium and there are also surveillance cameras used to monitor the stadium’s interior and exterior. There are monitors testing for toxins and biological weapons in the air and portable radiation detectors available for use by the police. With all of the preparations, it is anticipated that this year’s Super Bowl will be secure and safe as always.