New Orleans mayor predicts safe Super Bowl
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- Mayor Marc Morial predicted Friday a "very safe" Super Bowl played under extraordinary security coordinated by the federal government.
"It's going to be safe and secure in New Orleans on Sunday," Morial told CNN.
The Bush administration granted Super Bowl XXXVI status as a "National Security Special Event," which means the Secret Service acts as the lead agency in coordinating security. The 2002 Winter Olympics, opening this month in Salt Lake City, Utah, was given that designation in 1998.
Fans are being encouraged to show up as much as five hours early for Sunday's game between the St. Louis Rams and the New England Patriots because of tight screening procedures. Metal detectors will be in place and fans can expect to be patted down as they enter the Louisiana Superdome. Some face-recognition computer technology is also expected to be used to screen for known terrorists.
"In the post 9-11 environment, it's very important that we recognize that evil people could attack any site, especially if they think they could garner great publicity for it," Morial said. The mayor said about 48 agencies have been involved in planning security for the Super Bowl, a process that has been under way for 90 days.
"The cooperation's been enormous, and I think it will be secure," he said
Hundreds of concrete barriers have been put in place around the Superdome and thousands of security personnel will be deployed at the site. The FBI, the Louisiana National Guard, local police and state troopers are among the many law enforcement officers who will be on hand for the event.
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