The Boston Marathon Bombings are not the first time sporting events have come under attack. The bombing at the 1996 Olympics and the hostage situation at Munich come to mind. And while it’s not clear if the marathon bombings will have the same affect on sporting events that 9/11 had on airports, it is clear that with the Super Bowl coming to MetLife stadium in New Jersey next year, some security improvements are already in the works.
After the Boston Bombings, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said there are going to be vulnerable points along the course of a 26.2 mile race. At sporting arenas where there are limited points of entry the belief is that security can weed out any potential threats at the gate. But as Secaucus Mayor Mike Gonelli points out the Super Bowl is far more than just a football game, with events that for the first time will span across 2 states.
“This is the first time the Super Bowl is being held in a region not in a particular big city. Small towns like Secaucus and surrounding towns like this we have to be really on our guard that something like that doesn’t happen here, and we’re going to have a lot of big events here,” Gonelli said.
Gonnelli and other New Jersey mayors previously expressed concerns about the cost their towns would have to bear to help provide emergency services for such an event. But in light of the bombings, Gonnelli says the the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority has already acknowledged it will have to foot the bill for some of those services, and has increased communication with all of the municipalities about providing extra support.
And a Spokesperson for the State Police would not comment on specifics, but did say they would use the bombings to improve safety measures here in New Jersey.
In a statement the NJ State Police spokesperson said:
Everything we learn from the explosives attack in Boston will be used to refine our security plans for future events in New Jersey. This tragedy will make us smarter as a law enforcement community and stronger as a nation.
In a similar vein the NFL said it would not comment on specific security measures, but noted that the techniques are always evolving to ensure the safety of everyone who attends the Super Bowl.