fencing are going up around the site of the Super Bowl in downtown Minneapolis Tyler Kroft Jersey , 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.
Plenty of technology such as motion detectors, closed-circuit cameras and air particle sensors will be operating behind the scenes. Giant machines are being used to scan shipments to the stadium. Extra security cameras will be sprinkled around the city, and NFL-sanctioned events will have metal detectors. Teams will be in place to react to whatever comes up.
”Our efforts are to make sure that it’s a warm and inviting atmosphere. But make no mistake about it – there are tons of watchful eyes from the law enforcement and public safety sectors,” said Alex Khu, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Minnesota and the federal coordinator for this year’s Super Bowl.
Because of the dense area around the stadium, some security screening will be happening off-site. They also had to figure out how to secure Super Bowl Live, a largely free-flowing, 10-day outdoor event that’s open to the public. Meanwhile, some events are being held in nearby St. Paul and at the Mall of America in Bloomington, while team hotels, practice facilities – and transportation to and from – also must be secured.
Jeffrey Miller, former senior vice president and chief security officer for the NFL Clayton Fejedelem Jersey , said each host city faces different challenges. In Minneapolis, perhaps the biggest is the weather. He said security staff may need to be doubled or tripled to keep people from being exposed to dangerous elements for a prolonged time.
”That’s a challenge, and it’s a costly one you don’t have if playing in San Diego,” he said.
Miller said setting up a perimeter around a downtown venue is more difficult than setting one up around a stadium surrounded by parking lots. Architects, engineers and other experts are part of the planning. For fans, he said, there are advantages to being downtown and close to the action.
”The NFL is really good at trying to balance security needs with the fan engagement part of the equation,” he said.
Miller said officials also have to take into account recent world events – meaning the possibility of a terror attack.
Joe Rivers, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI in Minneapolis, said a threat assessment for the game has included analyzing attacks around the world. He cited the May bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, the Oct. 1 shooting at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas and the Oct. 31 vehicle attack on a New York City bike path. Without providing detail, Rivers said authorities used those attacks to shape their plans.
Local history must also be considered. Minneapolis has seen dozens of young men travel to Somalia or Syria to join extremist groups over the past decade. There also has been a stabbing attack at a central Minnesota mall and a more recent bombing of a local mosque.
”It’s impossible for us to ignore the historical cases that we’ve had here and the type of threats … that we’ve addressed,” Rivers said.
He said there is no credible threat to the Super Bowl, and authorities are continuing to gather intelligence. Rivers said his main concerns are low-tech threats, such as someone driving a vehicle into or firing a weapon at a crowd.
”Not to alarm anyone, but it’s not hard to come by weapons in this country and with where our venues are located and things like that, there’s no way we can possibly secure every single floor of every single building that can see a venue or can overlook a crowd, so those are concerns, yes,” he said.
Fans attending Super Bowl events can help by staying vigilant. In addition to calling 911, people who see something suspicious can call 1-800-CALL-FBI. In the event of something like the Boston Marathon bombing, the FBI has created a website where witnesses can upload videos and photos so the FBI can gather evidence quickly.
”Obviously, the best case scenario is that we hope that we do all of this … and no one never even realizes all the legwork that went into it on the front end,” Rivers said. ”They just show up, have a good time, and leave and go home.& The sweet-swinging Cleveland Indians are taking their show on the road after one successful homestand.
Edwin Encarnacion hit an eighth-inning grand slam Trey Hopkins Jersey , helping the Indians rout the Detroit Tigers 12-2 on Sunday for their season-high seventh straight win.
Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez and Jason Kipnis also connected for Cleveland, which outscored Detroit 26-3 in the three-game sweep. Ramirez finished with three hits, extending his streak of reaching base to 31 consecutive games.
”Everybody’s doing their part,” Encarnacion said. ”The top of the lineup, the bottom of the lineup. Everything’s going great.”
Adam Plutko (4-1) pitched six innings of two-run ball, becoming the second rookie starter to beat the Tigers in the series. Shane Bieber pitched seven innings in Friday night’s 12-0 win.
Tigers starter Matthew Boyd (4-6) allowed a season-high six runs in three-plus innings in his shortest outing of the season.
Detroit has lost five straight overall and is 3-10 against Cleveland this season.
”They’re hot, they’re swinging the bats good, and they jumped on us early again today,” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said. ”The ball is flying here now.”
The Indians have outscored their opponents 54-9 during their win streak. They open a nine-game road trip Monday night in St. Louis.
”We’re having a lot of fun,” Encarnacion said.
Cleveland had the game in hand when it added five more runs in the eighth. Kipnis hit a leadoff drive against Artie Lewicki. Lindor’s single and a double by Michael Brantley put runners on second and third.
Ramirez was intentionally walked and Encarnacion followed with a drive to right for his 11th career grand slam.
”When Edwin swings like that, it has to make them think twice,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. ”Then when they pitch around somebody, you love to see it hurt the other team. And you can tell Edwin was really bearing down there.”
Niko Goodrum and James McCann had RBI singles for Detroit in the fourth.
ADD AN O TO OHIO
The Tigers have lost all nine games they have played in the state of Ohio this season. Detroit was swept in a four-game series at Progressive Field in April. The Tigers lost both games in Cincinnati this week before heading north. The Tigers return to Cleveland in September.
”They took it to us this weekend, there’s no doubt,” McCann said.
Francona doesn’t enjoy certain parts of interleague games in NL parks, such as when his pitchers have to hit. Mike Clevinger, Corey Kluber and Bieber will be the starters in St. Louis.
”They’re doing things they’re not used to, even running the bases,” Francona said. ”They’re just not used to doing that during a game. They’re using different muscles, not that they’re not in good shape but they’re just doing different things. We definitely are holding our breath.”
The eighth was difficult for Lewicki, who was hit on the right ankle by Lindor’s hard grounder to the mound. He remained in the game after a visit from Gardenhire and a team trainer, but gave up the grand slam before finally being pulled.
The right-hander allowed six runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Tigers: RHP Drew VerHagen (broken nose) will not resume baseball activities for two weeks after being struck on the face with a throw from shortstop Jose Iglesias while covering first base Tuesday in Cincinnati.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco will throw bullpen sessions this week to test his bruised elbow. He was struck by a line drive hit by Minnesota’s Joe Mauer on June 16.
Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (2-0, 4.95 ERA) takes on Oakland at Comerica Park on Monday in the opener of a four-game series.
Indians: Clevinger (6-2, 3.00 ERA) pitches the series opener in St. Louis on Monday. RHP John Gant (1-2, 4.39 ERA) starts for the Cardinals.