SuperSize Security

By Michael A. Gips


Plans call for guests to pass through two perimeter checkpoints, but security will probably not erect a fence around the facility. Unlike the Republican National Convention, where fences ringed the facility and visitors had to pass through magnetometers, explains Klatt, "this is not a high security political event with a big terrorist threat."

As with other events, once at the door, guests must present a ticket with special anticounterfeit features for entry. But to minimize delay or embarrassment for guests who have forgotten their tickets, the NFL will staff the owners' gala with personnel equipped with checklists of party invitees.

One main concern is that the 1998 PlayStation NFL Players Party, hosted by the NFL Players Association and not sanctioned by the NFL, will also be occurring on Friday night--just a few hundred yards from the convention center. At least 10,000 people are expected at that party to mingle with the hundreds of players who will attend. Because of limited parking near the site, many of the fans will park downtown and walk across convention center property to get to the party locale, Embarcadero Park.

Some players association guests may have designs on the convention center event. Therefore, traffic flow of pedestrians to the appropriate areas, to be coordinated by police officers and convention center security, will be critical.

Inside the convention center, staff will work with the NFL to patrol the facility, ensure guests' well-being, provide executive protection, and otherwise supplement NFL security as needed.

As at many events, nonsecurity staff such as concierges, ushers, and doormen serve as extra sets of eyes and ears, as well as a first line of contact for guests. In addition, an extensive, monitored CCTV system will cover the movement of guests.

NFL Experience. The NFL Experience is a traveling roadshow of NFL memorabilia and games that is set up at various sites to give fans of all ages a chance to get off the sidelines and into the gridiron maelstrom. For the Super Bowl, the amusements will be located in an 850,000-square-foot park located west of Qualcomm Stadium. Under the NFL Experience's big tent, fans can tackle dummies, toss and catch footballs, negotiate obstacle courses, and otherwise emulate their NFL heroes.


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