Fans attending this year’s Super Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans will be “watched, sniffed and pawed,” as well as receiving mandatory TSA pat downs as they enter the stadium.
The Super Bowl’s designation as a level one National Special Security Event (NSSE) means that the spectacle is now an annual showcase for America’s post-9/11 descent into a security-obsessed police state, despite the fact that statistically, Americans are more likely to be killed by peanut allergies, bee stings and bath tubs than they are by terrorists.
“Fans can expect to pass through metal detectors and a pat-down search. After the pat-down search, fans will be asked to unzip any coats. All bags will be x-rayed,” said NFL Chief Security Officer Jeffrey Miller. Attendees will also be, “watched, sniffed and pawed as they enter the Superdome,” reports CBS Baltimore.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also indicated that TSA “screeners” would conduct at least some of the pat downs. The bloated federal agency has long since expanded beyond its remit of transportation, with TSA agents now shaking down Americans at political events, music concerts, and even high school prom nights.
Attendees at this month’s presidential inauguration also had to pass through metal detectors, have their bags searched and were given invasive TSA pat downs.
In 2011, the NFL announced that all fans entering games up and down the country would be subjected to “enhanced” pat downs, a change that was coordinated with the Department of Homeland Security.
The DHS is also developing technology to be used at “security events” which purports to monitor “malintent” on behalf of an individual who passes through a checkpoint. The promotional video for the program explains how“Future Attribute Screening Technology” (FAST) checkpoints will conduct “physiological” and “behavioral” tests in order to weed out suspected terrorists and criminals.
Aside from the pat downs, uniformed police have virtually occupied downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter, while “a not so small army of federal and state agents” will also be on patrol, reports WWLTV.com. 4,000 private security guards have also been hired by the NFL to police fans at the game.
Fans and residents of New Orleans will also be bombarded with images promoting the “See Something, Say Something” campaign encouraging people to report suspicious activity, which as we have previously documentedincludes all manner of banal behaviors.
Mobile gamma ray scanners will also be used to check truck deliveries just as they were last year at the Lucas Oil Stadium. Since Monday, all cargo entering ports in New Orleans has been scanned.
As the Houston Press reports, army explosives experts have also been called in to scan bags while bomb-sniffing dogs will also be on standby.
As we reported earlier this week, a no fly zone will also be enforced for airspace within 10 miles of the stadium and pilots have been warned by the FAA that their aircraft may be targeted by missiles if they violate the restrictions.