Super Bowl 2014 is just days away, and NFL players and fans aren't the only ones gearing up for kickoff. (Speaking of which, if you're wondering when the biggest football game of the year starts, get kickoff time and channel information here now.)
Security is a huge concern at this year's event, and authorities are working to ensure MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, will be the most secure location east of Fort Knox on Feb. 2 for Super Bowl XLVIII. Customs and border patrol helicopters, SWAT teams from local police agencies and F-16 fighter jets manned by New Jersey Air National Guardsmen will all be on hand Sunday to help secure a smooth experience for the Broncos vs. Seahawks match-up.
Super Bowl XLVIII: Heavy Security Measures in Place to Protect Fans, NFL Stars and Celebs
Even though authorities stress there is "no specific threat," after incidents like the Boston Marathon bombing and recent, increasing gun violence across America, they are taking no chances.
The star-studded sports events draw tens of thousands of fans each year no matter where it is held. (MetLife Stadium itself has a capacity for roughly 80,000 sports fans. Though ticket prices were actually lower than expected this year, Super Bowl XLVIII is sold out.) With this year's proximity to New York City, security is paramount. Super Bowl 2014 isn't just some football game, it is an annual continuation of a grand American tradition, set on the banks of our financial capital and possibly most well-known city. Put quite simply, it could be a huge target for evildoers, both foreign and domestic.
In addition to throngs of fans and the entirety of the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks teams, authorities will be enforcing security and crowd control while performers like Bruno Mars, Queen Latifah and rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers do their thing for this year's Super Bowl Sunday halftime show.
Celebrity spectators will also no doubt fill the stands and VIP boxes for the Feb. 2 game. In years past, stars like pop singer Katy Perry have been spied on the sidelines, cheering for their favorite teams. Due to the public nature of the event and being televised live, given the sheer number of people who will gather and the wide variety of potential high-value targets in the form of public figures, Super Bowl 2014 event security will be nothing short of world-class.
Attendees should allow plenty of time to gain entry to the MetLife Stadium before the Broncos vs. Seahawks kickoff, and they are advised to leave most personal items at home. Umbrellas and tripods are big no-nos, though medical devices will be excepted once they have passed a special screening. Only small bags will be allowed in, and items allowed will be at discretion of security personnel supervising admission. Click here for a list of game-day information, including prohibited items.