LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – While sports fans may know what a Raiders game day looks like, NFL and government-mandated requirements will change that for Las Vegas’ first Super Bowl in February.
Organizers for the big game have already aided in prior Super Bowls, and they point to logistical uniqueness in the compact city.
Namely, 120,000 hotel rooms are walkable to the host stadium, unlike other Super Bowls where the stadium is located further away.
However, Allegiant Stadium is positioned directly next to I-15, in the path of a 300-foot federally-mandated radius that will be in effect at least a week before the Sunday game. No vehicle traffic will be permitted within it once activated.
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President Steve Hill said Las Vegas police are no stranger to large-scale events and are continuing to coordinate what their presence will look like amongst several events happening at the same time.
“The Super Bowl’s just one of the 14 events that are NFL events, and then there’ll be events that sponsors put on around the community,” Hill added after a news conference on Wednesday morning.
“It’s just been a conversation at this point, he said. “The NFL knows what they need.”
But, according to Las Vegas Super Bowl LVIII Host Committee CEO Sam Joffray, NFL safety standards have never been applied locally.
The big game is designated as a SEAR 1 event by the Department of Homeland Security, the highest possible security level designation.
The Nevada Legislature additionally awarded $179,863 to the state National Guard for service during and leading up to the game.
“It’s another Vegas first,” Joffray said after the news conference. “A lot of our resorts have their police departments, their armed officers, K9 units, etc. So, they’re an integral part of what we’re doing as well.”
As for getting there, the 300-foot radius, which Joffray has said was slightly adjusted due to the freeway’s proximity, will be filled with halftime staging, hospitality services, and back-of-house production. Concrete barriers, K9 units, and a heavy police presence are expected on the other side.
Driving there, likely, is not an option for most spectators.
“There will be a lot of buses, a lot of shuttles, a lot of limousines, a lot of ride shares,” Joffray said. “We work very closely with the NFL security department to say ‘here are the minimum expectations,’ and then we start talking about, ‘how else do we enhance it?’”
While organizers are not prepared to release specifics just yet, they added that more plans related to safety and transportation should be released in the coming months.