NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The pregame festivities at Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square have been taking place under tight security, with an NYPD presence on literally every block.
As CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported Thursday, come game day on Sunday, the focus will shift to MetLife Stadium nine miles to the west in East Rutherford, N.J. Super Bowl Sunday will include a no-fly zone, and the enforcers are well-prepared.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents will be eyes in the sky come Sunday. They will be in Black Hawk helicopters, enforcing the 10-mile no-fly zone around the stadium.
“Most of the cases of people breaching the zone, obviously, in the past, have been a mistake,” said Phil Petro Customs and Border Protection.
A quick warning on the radio usually sets a stray plane straight. But the Black Hawk crew is trained to intercept.
And in a worst-case scenario, aviation agent Todd Sager is armed with heavy weaponry aboard the helicopter to bring down an aircraft.
The enforcers do not expect trouble, but they are thoroughly prepared for it.
An obvious question for the crews who will be flying on Super Bowl Sunday is how they will keep track of the game. It turns out they have an AM receiver right aboard the helicopter.
Meanwhile back on land, mass transit facilities are expected to be packed on game day. And as early as Thursday, security was robust, with explosive-sniffing dogs and U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents carrying portable radiation detection devices.
“I’m not surprised to see it,” said Amtrak rider Pauline Jones. “It doesn’t freak me out at all, no. I’d rather see it. I think it’s good.”
“It’s comforting to know they’re there,” added Amtrak rider Pat Clifton. “I was here on 9/11, so I’m glad to see them here.”
Another measure now in place is truck checkpoints at key locations across the city.
As to the no-fly zone, virtually the only flights permitted will be emergency air ambulances. Teterboro Airport will be shut down.
The no-fly zone kicks in Sunday morning.