SuperSize Security

By Michael A. Gips


Unexpected experiences ensure that procedures do not stay static year to year. For example, during last year's Super Bowl, Ahlerich discovered that two security groups working the same event couldn't communicate with each other because their radios were incompatible. This year special attention will be paid to communication systems.

Background checks of personnel such as waiters and vendors are also frequently conducted but may vary, according to Ahlerich. For some events, extensive checks may be in order, "but it's not across the board," he says.

Each special event will have its own security nuances, requiring adjustments to the general security measures. Among the events scheduled are the owners' party, the NFL Experience, Super Fest XXXII, and the NFL Tailgating Party.

Owners' party. Scheduled for the Friday night before Super Bowl Sunday at the San Diego Convention Center, the NFL Owners' Party will host some 3,000 to 6,000 guests of NFL team owners--including players--plus thousands of representatives from the media.

The NFL, largely through its main contract guard service supplier, Contemporary Services Corporation, will join forces with the convention center's security team and the SDPD to make sure that access is limited to legitimate ticket holders and that players and other VIPs are not injured or harassed.

The event is typically not dangerous, but the sheer number of guests makes it imperative that medical and fire services be standing by. "If one athlete disappears or is hurt, it can hurt the team and affect the outcome of the game," notes Kelly S. Klatt, CPP, the convention center's chief of security.


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