Four Tips for a Safer Super Bowl
Though security and law enforcement will oversee downtown Atlanta and Mercedes-Benz Stadium throughout Super Bowl weekend, attendees can improve their own personal safety by following these tips.
Atlanta, GA will be the host of Super Bowl LIII this Sunday, February 3rd at Mercedes Benz Stadium. For two years leading up to the big day, the topic of safety and security has been at the forefront of discussion and planning for NFL Security and all local, state, and federal law enforcement officials involved.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium Official Site
Typical security measures for similar large-scale events include:
- Increased local, state and federal law enforcement presence
- Extensive road closures and vehicle checkpoints
- Technical and cyber countermeasures in place
- Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) in place along with anti-drone detection and countermeasures for possible intrusions
- Explosive detection K9 teams
Though the above security measures will be in place, those attending The Big Game can keep these four personal safety tips in mind.
1. See Something, Say Something
Due to a high concentration of attendees and the international attention the event will receive, it naturally becomes a potential target from crime and malicious acts.
Everyone plays an important role in identifying and reporting suspicious activities and threats. Report any suspicious activity by calling 911, using the See Something / Send Something app, or alerting a nearby police officer/security guard.
In 1996, Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics and was the victim of a domestic terrorist pipe bombing at Centennial Olympic Park. A Georgia Bureau of Investigations agent said officers in the park were not informed of the 911 call in the 23 minutes between the discovery of the knapsack and the bomb’s detonation. The G.B.I. agent, who said he was originally shown the knapsack under a bench by an AT&T security guard, had helped to clear 75 to 100 people out of the area before the bomb exploded, preventing higher causalities and injuries.
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Having served in the metro-Atlanta law enforcement community for nearly a decade, GDBA’s Vice President of Protective Security, Ben Zeifman recognizes there will be a surge of opportunistic crimes such as property theft, narcotics sales, and fraud schemes. To avoid becoming a victim, please pay attention and stay suspicious! Also, avoid unwanted attention by not evoking distraction (staring at your phone) or evoking wealth (wearing a Rolex watch, etc.).
As an example, at the 2018 Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium, a man told police that he was walking through the concourse when another man stopped abruptly in front of him, distracting him while an accomplice fished his wallet out of his back pocket. The man told officers that the thieves took about $5,000 in cash.
- Cybercriminals Are Preying
Be conscious of free and open Wi-Fi networks. Those with malicious intent can present creative phishing tactics to steal your data. Cybercriminals leverage fake apps to gather your personal information to include banking log in IDs and passwords. With most financial transactions happening digitally, it is imperative to ensure you are only releasing your secure data to authorized companies.
- General Safety / Know The Rules
Mercedes Benz Stadium has specific rules regarding what attendees can bring into the stadium so make sure to review them before you show up at the gate. Stadium security will allow you to bring a clear plastic/vinyl bag. Small clutch bags about the size of your hand are also allowed, but nothing larger.
When you are coming to or leaving the stadium, do not walk alone, and stay in a group. Keep to populated downtown areas and do not venture off the beaten path.
Do not leave anything in your car and keep your valuables in your hotel room. Park in well-lit areas near other vehicles or high-traffic areas.
Ben Zeifman is Vice President of GDBA’s Protective Security Division. Throughout his tenure at our firm, Ben has worked extensively with the U.S. Secret Service and other major law enforcement agencies during the planning and implementation of large multi‐jurisdictional security operations for major political and cultural events around the world. Prior to joining our firm, Ben served in the United States Air Force and as a Law Enforcement Officer for an Atlanta Metro area police department.
Mark Iglar is Leader in the Special Field Services Division, who has led protective operations in over 70 countries and has designed the protective measures for artists performing during the Super Bowl Halftime Show.Back to All Posts