Secret Service To Be in Charge of Super Bowl Security

The Secret Service will be in charge of security for the Super Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on Feb. 3.

Local, state and federal agencies also will keep watch at the National Football League's championship game — possibly an inviting target for terrorists.

Secret Service spokesman Jim Mackin said the Super Bowl was designated a national special security event, allowing the federal government to take control of security.

Mackin said specific arrangements have not been finalized but promised there would be security in the air and on the ground. He would not say whether everyone attending the game would go through metal detectors.

"CEOs, movie stars and other big ticket-holders will be here," said Deputy Fire Superintendent Terry Tullier, who is coordinating the city's disaster preparation. "It would be a time for someone to try to make a statement."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency convened a four-day security meeting in New Orleans on Monday with about 140 representatives of local and state agencies.

Tullier said the Secret Service would be the lead agency in all the Super Bowl security preparations and operations. Other federal agencies involved will be the FBI and Coast Guard, along with the Louisiana National Guard, he said.

Authorities are expecting about 70,000 to 80,000 people in the Superdome for the game, and at least 40,000 others in the immediate area "with no expectations of getting in," Tullier said. "They'll be here just for the parties."

The game will be held right before the first Mardi Gras weekend, which typically counts up to 1 million visitors, culminating in the Fat Tuesday celebration nine days after the Super Bowl.

"The ramifications are mind-boggling," Tullier said.