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SuperSize Security

By Michael A. Gips

 

In addition, the game will require a tremendous number of service personnel in the stadium to handle sales of food, beverages, and souvenirs as well as to perform various other tasks. These personnel will receive specific credentials that they must display visibly at all times. To reduce the chance of counterfeits, credentials will be distributed on game day, and before service personnel can enter the stadium, security will check each ID carefully.

In prior Super Bowls, such credentials have sometimes been forged, even when the badges were handed out on the day of the event. This year, therefore, elements have been incorporated to limit the likelihood that counterfeit IDs will go unnoticed. Ahlerich says that these components will be readily apparent only to the trained eye.

Inside, the stadium will include a mix of the NFL's contract security officers and SDPD officers, many undercover, augmented by electronic aids such as an extensive CCTV system. The SDPD's Moratto says that his department's staffing level will be about 150 percent of what it is at a typical San Diego Chargers game.

Perhaps surprisingly, according to NFL Security Director Ahlerich, the Super Bowl has "one of the best behaved crowds for any football game during the season." While the passion level is high, incidents of fan misconduct are not, he explains. That attitude helps security's special teams execute their plays. But, of course, the fans aren't thinking of security's game plan. It's just that "if it's a winning season for your team," notes Ahlerich, "you don't want to get kicked out."

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