NFL and law enforcement officials have reported this Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 runs “no credible threat” to security. F-15 jets from the California Air National Guard will fly in the skies above the San Francisco Bay area as the Carolina Panthers showdown against the Denver Broncos at 6.30pm ET.
In what is likely to be the most highly guarded sporting event in history, hundreds of law enforcement officers are moving towards the Santa Clara area. The spectre of terror attacks, like those seen in Paris last year, looms large in the thinking.
In the last few months federal and state security teams have been in extensive training in preparation for the big day. Armed guards will patrol Levi’s Stadium, with the Transportation Security Administration sending specialist “VIPR” (visible intermodal prevention and response) teams. These are private individuals trained watch for worrying behaviours from among the crowds at busy areas such as train stations, and around the venue.
US Coast Guard boats will be in attendance along the creek which boundaries the stadium, and teams of dogs have been familiarised with the sound of the helicopters to be used on the day.
The NFL’s senior vice president of security, Jeffrey Miller, said he was happy with the effort on a local, state and national level to protect the event against any attack.
At a media briefing on Wednesday, he said, “I can speak for Commissioner in saying that we are deeply appreciative of the leadership, resources and attention to detail put forth by our public safety partners.”
The Super Bowl 50 is rated as the second highest threat environment according to national guidelines, only superseded by events such as meetings of world leaders or the presidential inauguration.
The biggest event in sport is expected to draw around 100 million viewers in the United States and millions more from overseas.
It’s been revealed Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem at the start of the match. Coldplay and Beyonce will perform in the famed halftime slots.