Security in Minneapolis is at an all-time high for the pro football champhionship. In the inaugural football season of the U.S. Bank Stadium, downtown Minneapolis has likely never seen an influx of football fans at this level. Barriers and fences have begun emerging around areas designated for Minneapolis Championship Sunday security as local, state and national agencies preparing the city for the football storm.
Although the game is set for Sunday Feb. 4, the championship crowed has been invading Minneapolis for at least a week. The Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots both have 100% home attendance this season and will surely bring their respected crowds in force to this Midwest city. Authorities were forced to carve out security perimeters around business and hospital areas in downtown to avoid further congestion issues. Thankfully this location was selected by a committee for the this specific game years ago, giving authorities enough time to prepare for the overwhelming influx of northeastern football fanatics.
Although other cities that have hosted the this championship game have to deal with similar problems, Minneapolis is at a disadvantage. Minneapolis is roughly half the size of the hosting city two years ago and less than a quarter of the size of Houston, host of last year’s game. Due to this, “Minneapolis has a relatively small police department of less than 900 officers compared with the roughly 5,000 in Houston, where last year’s game was held – and needed more personnel.” Thankfully, dozens of other cities as well as the Minnesota National Guard have been sending reinforcements. Scott Gerlicher, Minneapolis Police Commander, is overseeing security and this championship game will have the largest federal resources aid yet. In an interview with USA Today, Gerlicher stated,
We’re ready for anything that may come our way. It’s about not just feeling safe, but making sure people are in fact safe.
Beyond the Big Game
While downtown Minneapolis is getting overwhelmed with large crowds, the city has been attempting to spread out some of the density. A few events have been designated to the Mall of America in Bloomington as well as nearby St. Paul. One of the main causes for the congestion downtown however is not just the stadium location but the week-long event. This pro football championship event is a free-flowing continuous festival of concerts and outdoor events over the course of 10 days. It’s in an annual downtown event that gives life to the big game experience for any visitors or locals that may not be attending the game.
Unlike other championship host cities, Minneapolis has to also concern themselves with bad weather. The last three championships were held in Arizona, California and Texas where snow is rare. Due to the cold weather, Chief Security Officer for the NFL, Jeffrey Miller, said he may need to double or triple security staff to prepare for long periods of cold weather exposure. Miller stated,
That’s a challenge, and it’s a costly one you don’t have if playing in San Diego. The NFL is really good at trying to balance security needs with the fan engagement part of the equation.
With such a large and rampant influx of visitors to any city, security always becomes a major issue. Police Departments aren’t the only ones that need to beef up their security in situations like these. Consider contacting Protect America to find out more about professionally monitored home security. Help better secure your community by better securing your home.