Paris Attacks Raise Alarm for Super Bowl 50

Super Bowl security (Donald Miralle / Getty)
Donald Miralle / Getty

Super Bowl 50, scheduled for February 7, 2016 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, will likely feature even heavier security than normal as a result of Friday’s massacre of 129 people in France by Islamic terrorists.

The game has been dubbed the Golden Super Bowl because it is the 50th Super Bowl and will be played in the Golden State.

On Saturday, the NFL, responding to the horrific murders in Paris, attempted to allay concerns about the game’s security, releasing a statement attesting that “the safety of our fans, stadium personnel, and teams at all NFL games is our priority, and security at our games is robust. Our procedures have been certified and designated by the Department of Homeland Security since 2008 as effective anti-terrorism technology,” according to The Contra Costa Times.

Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews echoed, “We have full confidence in the security plan we’ve worked on with Homeland Security, the NFL and all of our partners.” He pointed out that planned security includes electronic sensors and other high-tech equipment that will scrutinize fans who arrive on buses and light-rail trains. He concluded, “We’ve worked with an alphabet soup of federal agencies to come up with our plan. And I can tell you that security gets more and more sophisticated with each Super Bowl.”

According to the Times, Santa Clara police chief Mike Sellers asserted that information gathered from the Paris attacks will be utilized so his team “will hopefully be able to learn from what happened and see how security at those venues compares to our very robust public-safety plan.”

The NFL stated that the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have said “there are no known threats against NFL stadiums.” On Saturday, San Francisco police issued a statement saying, “while there is no known threat here in the United States, SFPD officers have been advised to maintain high visibility and to increase patrols in areas of significant public traffic.”

Super Bowl XXXVI, played in New Orleans five months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, triggered the Office of Homeland Security to label every Super Bowl a “National Security Special Event.” Normal procedure includes also an extra perimeter outside the stadium so vehicles cannot get too close and a security walk-through for spectators 100 yards from the stadium gates, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Levi’s Stadium has been preparing for the Super Bowl since at least October. At the late October San Francisco 49ers/Seattle Seahawks game at the stadium, NFL security went through a dry run with their tightened security procedures, according to local Fox affiliate Fox 40, which reported, “Levi’s Stadium employees were instructed that things are now ‘black and white’ when it comes to security measures.”


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