Securing Super Bowl LIVE 52
Planning, Preparing, Executing
Super Bowl LIVE 52 was a 10-day festival-style, open-street event, which took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota, prior to the Super Bowl game on February 4, 2018. Working on behalf of the Minnesota Super Bowl LII Host Committee (MNSBHC), Rozin Security oversaw the planning, preparation, and execution of the security plan for the event. During the eight months leading up to the event, and throughout the event itself, Rozin Security’s team orchestrated and directed a major collective effort to ensure security. This effort consisted of successful operations and an incidents-free, safe environment for thousands of employees and volunteers, and the millions of visitors that took part in Minnesota’s largest sports event.
The MNSBHC tasked Rozin Security with all security-related aspects for the event. This included identifying security needs, designing the security plan, obtaining and preparing relevant resources, and managing the implementation and execution of the plan prior to and during the event.
From a security standpoint, the event presented several major challenges that were a direct result of the event location’s layout, the nature of the event, its scope and magnitude, and its duration. Specifically, the following challenges and vulnerabilities played key roles in the planning and implementation of the security plan:
- The event took place in an open commercial urban area, during and after business hours, with no defined perimeter. As a result, access to the event was unrestricted, and visitors were mixed up with local tenants, shoppers, and others. Multiple access points from streets or from inside adjacent buildings and skyways made it virtually impossible to physically prevent infiltration of a weapon or other harmful devices into the event zone.
- The high-profile nature of the event, along with the extended load-in and event duration, made it very attractive and possible for any potential perpetrator to conduct thorough planning, surveillance, and preparation activities for any type of possible attack.
- Active traffic during event hours, both around and through the event area, presented a special challenge to protect visitors from vehicle-related threats such as vehicle ramming, a car bomb, or shooting from a passing vehicle.
- Main stage performances, various activation points, and other ongoing attractions created multiple simultaneous mass gathering areas, both indoor and outdoor, which required ongoing security attention. In addition, the high-presence of VIPs, athletes, and celebrities, there as the entertainment and as spectators, created an ongoing need for executive protection assignments in multiple locations.
- Ongoing logistical activities and deliveries into the event area, whether directly related or unrelated to the event itself, presented a potential threat through infiltration of harmful means into the event area under the cover of legitimate supply chain.
- Multiple stakeholders included private sector organizations, local, state and federal law enforcement, emergency response agencies, government entities, and others. This presented a special coordination and operational challenge.
- Other contributing factors included weather, visibility, high-volumes of pedestrians and vehicles, protesters, and crimes-of-opportunity.
Approach and Solution
Rozin Security adopted a comprehensive approach for the planning and execution of the security program. It encompassed the following steps:
- Conducting a Threat and Vulnerability Assessment of the event.
- Developing security concept of operations (CONOPS) plan.
- Working with various stakeholders to ensure the validity and feasibility of CONOPS.
- Designing a detailed security plan, identifying resources, and preparing a complete budget.
- Coordinating efforts with various agencies and public/private stakeholders.
- Training a security workforce.
- Managing implementation and execution through the Security Operations Center.
Threat and Vulnerability Assessment
Rozin Security conducted a complete Threat and Vulnerability Assessment (TVA) of the event venue in order to identify potential threat elements that could be attractive to aggressors and their potential methods of action (PMAs) based on their assessed operational capability. The TVA identified several potential vulnerabilities in the venue that could have been exploited by potential perpetrators to successfully achieve their objectives. Given the need to prioritize and properly allocate the budget, the TVA highlighted the most likely PMAs and most critical vulnerabilities. Rozin Security’s team then designed the security plan for Super Bowl Live based on the findings of the TVA.
Security Concept of Operations (CONOPS)
To address the event’s unique challenges, Rozin Security designed a robust, multi-layer risk-based security plan. It was based on the following principles:
- Threat-based SECURITY ZONES, including event and surrounding streets.
- LAYERED SECURITY STRATEGY including visible and invisible measures designed to build enough opportunities to prevent identified PMAs from occurring.
- Creating a DETERRENCE effect by visibly assessing for malicious intent, heavy presence of uniforms, personnel, and physical security measures.
- Early DETECTION of potential threats using behavior detection methods, Suspicion Indicators Recognition & Assessment (SIRA®)-trained officers, and other resources, focused on identifying MALICIOUS INTENT in the context of identified likely MOs. These were combined with various threat detection technologies.
- Applying various PREVENTION means such as barriers, environmental designs, technologies, and protocols.
- Enabling quick and effective RESPONSE times by positioning and making available tactical and first response teams in critical areas and times.
- Collecting, analyzing, and sharing REAL-TIME FIELD INTELLIGENCE using the proprietary Threat Information Protection System (TIPS) for suspicious activity reporting and case management.
Security personnel have identified multiple potential threats throughout the event period. Of those threats, some cases of suspicious activities were handed over to local and federal law enforcement agencies, and some of them led to legal actions. In addition, security staff encountered several situations of a crowded environment, mostly during major concerts. These situations were successfully handled with the Minneapolis Police Department, and the crowd was kept safe and under control.
More than one million people were estimated to have visited Super Bowl LIVE 52 during the 10-day event. They attended multiple major concerts, numerous daily activation points, and visited hundreds of vendors and businesses in the area. Despite the heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic in the event area, no major incidents occurred prior to, during, and after the event.
“Michael Rozin and his team at Rozin Security were critical part of the success of Super Bowl 52 in Minnesota. From the state-of-the-art security plan, to effective integration of security measures, and superior leadership with private and public-senor partners. Michael and his team helped avoid security risks while delivering outstanding experience for over 1.5 million people. If you are interested in taking your security operation to the next level, I highly recommend Rozin Security.”
— Dave Haselman, Chief Operating Officer, MN Super Bowl 52 Host Committee