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Tight security promised for Super Bowl LIV in Miami, officials say

Posted at 10:36 AM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 04:33:33-05

MIAMI — Security took center stage on Wednesday as NFL and law enforcement officials discussed their public safety strategy for Super Bowl LIV.

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State and federal law enforcement agencies said they're ready for anything this coming Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, including a detonated bomb or massive food poisoning, but haven't identified any threats.

Events for Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers kicked off earlier this week around South Florida, with an interactive Super Bowl Experience at the Miami Beach Convention Center and Super Bowl LIVE at Miami's Bayfront Park.

It's a lot of mileage to patrol, but officials said they are well prepared after planning for months and running drills.

Maj. Ed Caneva, the Miami-Dade Police Department's Operations Commander for the NFL title game, said his agency has identified a raft of different scenarios.

"We have been training and addressing anything," Maj. Caneva said.

The Super Bowl has long been considered a potential target for terrorists or other violent extremists, and this year the game will be played amid rising tensions with Iran. But none of the games has ever been attacked.

Anthony Salisbury, chief of the Homeland Security Investigations office in Miami, said law enforcement agencies nonetheless must be prepared.

"It's all hands on deck," Salisbury said. "This is a high-profile event. It's the same with every Super Bowl. Nothing is being taken for granted."

Several thousand federal, state, and local law enforcement officials are involved in the game and the events leading up to it.

Brian Swain, chief of the Miami Secret Service office and lead federal coordinator for the event, said there's no intelligence thus far indicating any kind of threat.

"There is no specific credible threat right now," Swain said. "I'm confident in our security plan."

Streets will be blocked off around Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, with scores of uniformed police officers and others in plainclothes roaming the stadium to ensure safety. Bomb-sniffing dogs will patrol, and fans must go through metal detectors.

The Federal Aviation Administration has imposed flight restrictions over Hard Rock Stadium and around some of the other events. The FAA has even produced a video called "No Drone Zone," intended to curb the devices around game activities.

Commercial flights at Miami International Airport are unaffected.

This year's Super Bowl will be the Miami area's 11th, the most ever.

Hard Rock Stadium is home to the Miami Dolphins and the University of Miami Hurricanes and hosts concerts for major acts including The Rolling Stones.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he's confident the area is ready for this game as well.

"We know how to do it," Mayor Gimenez said. "We've done this before, and we're pretty good at it."

You can watch Super Bowl LIV on our partner station WFLX FOX 29 on Sunday, Feb. 2 starting at 6:30 p.m.

WPTV and the Associated Press contributed to this report.