As of Sunday, January 23rd, football fans now know who is coming to play in the Super Bowl – the Green Bay Packers versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. Congratulations to both teams, and welcome to Texas – players, families, and fans!
In case you don’t already know, everything is big in Texas, including the $40 million budget that has been set to put on this giant extravaganza. Being called the “North Texas Super Bowl,” practices and other events are spread throughout the Metroplex. The Steelers will stay in Fort Worth and practice at TCU’s facilities. The Packers will stay in Irving, and hold their workouts in SMU’s facilities. Media events (around 5,000 press reporters are expected) will be held in Dallas. The NFL Experience will be at Dallas’ Convention Center and will run between January 27 and February 7. Authorities expect more than 250,000 persons to attend this event. Last, but not least, the big match-up will take place in Arlington’s Dallas Cowboys Stadium, an experience within itself.
State and federal authorities have been assisting local law enforcement departments develop Super Bowl safety plans for the past several months. Of course, the entire security plan cannot be revealed, however it is important for local residents to know what to expect. Local media will inform residents of areas they may want to avoid during the weekend. Robots, bomb sniffing dogs and drones are just some of the safety features that will be utilized. Robert Champion, Special Agent in charge of ATF and Explosives agency reports this is his third Super Bowl, and by far the largest he has ever dealt with.
Deputy Chief Tom Lawrence of the Dallas Police Department said the busiest times are expected to be Thursday through Saturday prior to the February 6th game. The biggest concern is traffic congestion. Streets must be left open so traffic can be moved in case of emergencies. The City of Arlington has invested $715,000 in adding surveillance cameras, liability insurance for out of town public safety employees and overtime expenses for code compliance officers during game events. This expense is expected to be repaid from revenue from additional sales taxes generated by the game.
People are spending a lot of money to come to the game and experience all the excitement that comes with it. They will be enjoying a taste of Texas’ food and hospitality. The cities within the Metroplex are sprucing up landscapes and getting ready to welcome everyone. Local law enforcement and state troopers will be working hard to enforce the law in order to ensure a safe weekend for all. As of last week, 299 Super Bowl events have been planned in Dallas alone. Because there will be lots of partying, this is a good time to “rain on the parade” a little by warning those who plan to do so, to choose a designated driver. There will be too much traffic during this busy weekend to take a chance on having an accident. Don’t spoil the good time for everyone else. DPS troopers and local law enforcement officers will be out in full force.
Now’s the time to get your team merchandise. If you can’t make it to the game, and your work requires you to wear a hardhat, what better way to show your support of the Packers or Steelers than by wearing a team NFL Football hardhat with their logo? Wear it to games, too! If you are one of the fortunate ones to be going to the game, you might think about a pair of disposable earplugs, too, as it will be noisy!
Texas welcomes everyone who plans to attend this big event. Have a safe stay, and Y’all Come Back!