Security: What to be Prepared For

Jan 22, 2018

Written by: Ben Yarbrough, Cushman & Wakefield

This article was written in January for the 2018 Super Bowl Edition newsletter.

In two weeks, an estimated 1 million visitors will descend on The Bold North for Super Bowl LII and the events leading up to the main event. In addition to the big game, Super Bowl Live will be held on Nicollet Mall and Super Bowl Experience will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Super Bowl Live will be ten days of concerts and events and Super Bowl Experience is the NFL's interactive theme park. With the official Super Bowl LII events primarily taking place in downtown Minneapolis, it will be the most urban setting in Super Bowl history.

Officials and committees have been planning the events for two years. Local officials attended the last two Super Bowls in San Francisco and Houston. The official Super Bowl events have been designated SEAR 1 Level events by the Department of Homeland Security. This designation provides support from federal agencies at no additional cost. Commander Scott Gerlicher, of the Minneapolis Police Department, and Protective Security Advisor Glenn Sanders, of the Department of Homeland Security presented at the November 16th BOMA Education session. Gerlicher explained the City of Houston has 5,500 police officers compared to the 850 police officers in Minneapolis, so the city has benefited from the SEAR 1 designation with additional resources provided by the federal government and officers from other Minnesota cities. Gerlicher stated some of the security challenges include the budget - host committee vs. NFL, space - since most events are downtown, staffing - in terms of numbers of officers getting them in and out of downtown, and weather. Leading up to the game, there will be approximately two and a half miles of fence surrounding the US Bank Stadium. A perimeter will be established in the afternoon on Friday, February 2nd before the game and remain in place until Monday, February 5th. Offsite screening of mail and vehicles entering the perimeter will take place before the game using assets and equipment from U.S. Border Protection. Gerlicher said US Bank Stadium will be the safest place in the United States on game day.

Glenn Sanders said that soft targets could be attractive during this period. He encouraged everyone "if you see something, say something." Vehicle incursions and active shooters are the main concerns. Some streets will be closed and a significant amount of sand and concrete barriers will be installed to protect pedestrians. In addition to the officers with specific assignments, there will be 100 police officers that are non-dedicated on foot patrol. There will be many ancillary events that are not official Super Bowl activities that may not have the level of security as official events and people should be aware of their surroundings at all times. There are flight restrictions in the area on game day and Sanders said aviation assets will be available. Sanders continued that there isn't typically an influx of calls or a crime wave associated with the Super Bowl, but plans are in place if there are any issues. The day after the game will also be the busiest day for the airport, ever! It's estimated there will be three times as many flights as usual out of the MSP Airport.

The Downtown Improvement District, local owners and property managers, and BOMA Greater Minneapolis have worked on a number of security measures. Many buildings will have increased security and have hired security consultants to review their plans and operations. Skyway hours will likely be extended and owners and property managers are planning accordingly.

The links below may be helpful for additional Super Bowl and security information:

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