MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Concrete barriers and chain-link fencing are going up around the site of the Super Bowl in downtown Minneapolis, where a contingent of local, state and national agencies is working to ensure that the game and dozens of related events are safe.
The downtown location of the Feb. 4 title game has presented challenges for authorities, who have had to get creative as they carved a secure perimeter around businesses and a major hospital near U.S. Bank Stadium. But it’s not the first time the Super Bowl has dealt with the challenges of a city center, and authorities who have spent roughly two years thinking about every possible scenario say they are prepared.
“We’re ready for anything that may come our way,” Minneapolis Police Commander Scott Gerlicher said. “It’s about not just feeling safe, but making sure people are in fact safe.”
Gerlicher, whose department is overseeing security, said this Super Bowl will have the largest deployment of federal resources yet. That’s because Minneapolis has a relatively small department — less than 900 officers compared with the roughly 5,000 in Houston, where last year’s game was held — and needed more personnel.
Dozens of other cities are sending officers too, and the Minnesota National Guard has been activated. An additional 10,000 volunteers are being trained to spot suspicious activity.
Visitors can expect to see increased police patrols, bomb-sniffing dogs, helicopters, officers in tactical gear, and that chain-link and concrete fence around U.S. Bank Stadium.