It’s not a surprise that security will be incredibly tight at Super Bowl 50 on February 7 at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. The venue can fit 68,500 people, according to the stadium website. As the big event approaches, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security has labeled the event a “level one” event, which is the highest classification for national events.
To help local law enforcement, the FBI and U.S Department of Homeland Security issued a memo assessing potential threats. The agencies said: “There will be plenty of security inside Levi’s Stadium. The memo also read: “The most vulnerable targets of opportunity are not inside Levi’s Stadium itself, but outside the stadium,” retired FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Harp said.
Government security officials are examining whether recent attacks on fiber optic systems in California could be connected to a “more complex plot” against the game.A series of unsolved incidents in which fiber optic cables in the Bay Area were deliberately severed is one of several risks detailed in memo by the FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security intelligence analysts. The concern individuals may be using these incidents to test and prod network durability in conjunction with a more complex plot,” the memo said.
Michele Ernst, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s San Francisco field office, said there have been 15 attacks against fiber optic lines in the region since 2014. Most of the incidents occurred in San Jose, Fremont and Walnut Creek, California. Though San Jose is within five miles of Levi’s Stadium, the other incidents occurred more than 20 to 40 miles away. Adding to security concerns, Intelligence analysts also said the recent terror attacks in Paris raise the possibility that attackers would target spaces outside sports stadiums.
“There’s no question that the Super Bowl would be a highly attractive target. But so would any sporting event,” said Anthony Cordesman, a security strategist for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Security Systems In Place
Part of the city’s security strategy is to share data with the community. Most of the system is in place, according to Santa Clara CIO Gaurav Garg. For instance, the city has made public the video streams from 15 cameras trained on intersections near the stadium. The streams, available through a smartphone application and on the city’s website.
“Really it is creating a single pane of glass for multiple types of information [that can] then be visualized: where the situations are happening, where our public safety assets are, where the cameras are and what the traffic conditions are, according to Garg.