As fans descend on Indianapolis, the city, NFL and stadium security are preparing for security and safety threats. The National Football League’s showcase event will consume 44 blocks in the heart of the city, closing off streets and forcing an anticipated 150,000 or more fans to jockey with downtown workers for space much of the week.
Up to 1,000 city police officers will be in the stadium and on the street, carrying smartphones and other electronic hand-held devices that will enable them to feed situational awareness information including photos and video to a new operations center on the city east side, or to cruisers driven by officers providing backup, according to the city’s public safety director.
One concern has been a series of explosions in the Indianapolis Power and Light IPL underground network of utility cables. Eight explosions have occurred since 2010. The latest, November 19, turned a manhole cover into a projectile that heavily damaged a parked car. Since December, IPL has spent about $180,000 to install 150 new locking manhole covers, primarily in the Super Bowl village and other areas expected to see high pre-game traffic.