Boston Marathon Bombings: Officials Confident In '14 Super Bowl Security Plan
New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority President & CEO Wayne Hasenbalg said that the Boston Marathon bombing “hasn’t triggered immediate action” by Super Bowl XLVIII planners “because the security committee has been working on anti-terrorism measures for the past two years,” according to John Brennan of the Bergen RECORD. MetLife Stadium President & CEO Brad Mayne said, "Sometimes, things happen and venues are left scrambling and (stadium executives are) saying, ‘What are we going to do about it?’ But we already have been preparing, and we have programs in place. The coordination has been fantastic, and people will still feel safe when they come next year." Brennan writes the marathon is “a very different event than a Super Bowl, because thousands of people can walk past the area near the finish line -- creating greater danger that a deadly package can be dropped off.” A MetLife Stadium official said that fans attending the Super Bowl “will have to provide identification and be searched in an area about 500 feet from the entrances” (Bergen RECORD, 4/17). The AP’s Tom Canavan reported the NFL “plans to take what investigators learn in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing and incorporate it into its security plans for the cold-weather Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium.” The league yesterday said that it has “raised its security levels for all its games and events since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.” The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has “designated the Super Bowl as a Level One National Security Event for the past decade.” Everyone entering Super Bowl stadiums since Sept. 11 “has been subject to security screenings, including metal detectors, pat-downs, and other special security checks.” The FAA also “institutes temporary flight restrictions,” and no blimps or other aircraft “are allowed to circle the premises” (AP, 4/16).
CHANGING THE FOCUS OF LEAGUE OFFICIALS: Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio noted there has been "so much enhancement over the years" regarding security inside NFL stadiums, but Monday's bombings "should put a greater focus on the things that can go on outside the stadium.” There needs to be a "greater sensitivity now about where people congregate while trying to get into the stadium, tailgates." Florio: "It’s going to require everyone to be more sensitive to their surroundings.” However, at a time when the NFL is "very concerned about making sure as many people as possible go to games instead of staying home, this is the kind of thing that could cause more people to choose to stay home and watch games on TV” (“PFT,” NBC Sports Network, 4/16).