Security Strengthened for College Football Championship Game
Tonight Alabama and Clemson will fight it out for the second-ever College Football Playoff Championship title at the University of Phoenix Stadium in suburban Glendale. The city of Phoenix is dead set on making sure that the teams on the field are the only ones creating a stir.
This year, Phoenix will deploy more security for the college football championship than for last year’s Super Bowl, as federal authorities warn about the risk of terrorist attacks at crowded public events. The title game follows attacks around the county, including in San Bernardino and Paris. These events have left the United States Department of Homeland Security to warn about the possibility of homegrown extremists targeting big events.
“We’ve seen so many things recently; Paris, for example,” said Shelly Jamison, a Phoenix Fire Department spokeswoman. “We are going to have a lot of bodies out there looking for that kind of thing. We are being very proactive.”
Phoenix officials plan to use much of the same security framework from the Super Bowl, which was held in Arizona last year. Federal officials say they will play a smaller role, leaving the city to coordinate the operation. Police predict that thousands of security personnel at the college game will outnumber thost at the N.F.L. game, but refuse to offer specifics.
The college game’s security effort involves more than 100 entities, including law enforcement, fire officials and the National Guard. A multiagency coordination center is set up in Phoenix, where authorities will monitor a wall of flat-screen TVs capable of streaming more than 2,500 camera feeds from businesses around the metro area. The Super Bowl used the same approach.
Officials will review local transportation, social media and even air quality to ensure public safety.
Security personnel will be stationed at the game, the Fan Central event downtown and an outdoor music site that will feature concerts leading up to the championship game.