Tens of thousands of football fans continue to converge on Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII on Sunday. Providing security for those crowds requires the collaboration of local, state, and federal agencies.
This is not the first time Minneapolis has hosted a Super Bowl.
"Super Bowl has changed a lot since we last hosted this in 1992," said Chief Medaria Arradondo with the Minneapolis Police Department. "Since then, the world has changed and we really need to make sure that as a symbol of our freedom, for Americans to get together and enjoy their pastimes, we have to make sure and ensure their safety is first and foremost."
In a press conference, top law enforcement officials shared that they have been planning Super Bowl security for more than two years.
"Obviously due to its size and scope, it is and can be an attractive target," said Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security. "We don't have any credible or specific threat intel, but we will continue to actively monitor channels with our international partners."
"Philadelphia and New England coaches--they've done the Xs and Os, developed their game plan, and it will soon be the players job to execute that plan," said Richard T. Thornton, FBI Minneapolis Division Special Agent in Charge. "In law enforcement it's the same thing. We've planned. We've trained. It's game time for us, and we are ready to do what we need to do and to take care of anything that comes are way."
Common threats associated with the Super Bowl range from counterfeit merchandise to security breeches; however, in The Bold North, even the venue itself can pose a threat.
"Everyone also should expect to spend some time out in the elements," said Cathy Lanier, NFL Chief Security Officer. "This is very important for us to make sure that people who are coming here and visiting for the Super Bowl should dress appropriately. Even if you're out there for only a few minutes, it can get very cold here."
Authorities hope fans keep one important motto in mind.
"If you see something suspicious, please contact the authorities or report it to a uniformed police officer nearby," said Alex Khu, Federal Coordinator with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Ticket holders are encouraged to arrive at U.S. Bank Stadium early. Doors open at 1 p.m. Free parking is available at Mall of America. From there, everyone can be scanned and safely transported to U.S. Bank Stadium by light rail.