The entire Bay Area will be affected by Super Bowl 50, which will take place at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Feb. 7. Over two million people will be coming to the Bay Area for this event, though only about 70,000 will be attending the game.
With Stanford University hosting practices for the Denver Broncos in the week prior to the Super Bowl,even more people will visit Palo Alto specifically.
The Palo Alto Police Department has been planning to increase its security and police presence in order to ensure that public safety is maintained and traffic controlled during the entire week.
“We will have increased staffing and a modified schedule for our officers and dispatchers and have specialty units on standby,” Charles Cullen, the Technical Services Director for the Palo Alto Police Department, said. “We will also staff the Emergency Operations Center during Super Bowl week.”
The Palo Alto Fire Department is expecting to receive 20 percent more calls than usual in the week prior to and the weekend of the Super Bowl. Stanford hospital has also been preparing for an increase in patient influx during this year’ Super Bowl weekend.
“Both Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Health will be fully staffed and prepared for any additional adult or pediatric cases that may result due to the Super Bowl and its various activities,” Erin Weinstein, Stanford Health Care’s director of Media Relations, said in an interview with Palo Alto Weekly.
In the week prior to the game and the weekend of, there will be many parties and increasing numbers of people around town causing a lot more traffic than usual.
“We anticipate the restaurants and bars downtown will be very downtown will be very busy,” Cullen said Local officials have also been taking El Nino into consideration and the problems it could bring to the Super Bowl such as flooding and power outages.
One of the more serious issues that the Super Bowl is bringing to the Bay Area is an increase in human trafficking. The Super Bowl is sometimes thought of as the largest human trafficking incident in the United States. Many victims of sex trafficking are brought to the location of the Super Bowl every year for fans and tourists.
This year the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is attempting to crack down on sex trafficking during the Super Bowl by reaching out to the victims and offering them a way out.
Authorities are also concerned about potential terrorist attacks that could cripple or completely shut down communications. In a recent memo that was leaked to the NBC News4 I-Team, the FBI expressed concerns of having fiber-optic cables destructed.
However, Super Bowl security have been doing practice runs of protocol in the event of a terrorist attack since November.
“We want to take all the precautions that we can to ensure that we have the bases covered,” FBI Special Asst. Agent Bertram Fairries said in an interview with ABC 7 News.