It can be tricky to uphold security during an entertainment-based event; the process brings a specific set of challenges supplementing those that come standard with nearly all public safety scenarios — and this boils down to a simple, yet crucial fact: attendees, in most cases, are both present in large numbers and hyper focused on getting their money’s worth from the event in question. When an event is so large, symbolic or publicized that it gets designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security as a National Special Security Event (NSSE), the US Secret Service assumes its mandated role as the lead agency for the design and implementation of the operational security plan. For NSSEs, the Secret Service have developed a core strategy to carry out its security operations, which relies heavily on its established partnerships with law enforcement and public safety officials at the local, state, and federal levels.
There is arguably no better example of an NSSE than a world championship sporting event — especially the Superbowl, where passion, excitement, and tension can intertwine at any moment, creating an almost countless list of possible safety situations — the prevention of rare threats like potential terror attacks to regular event security issues ranging from fans possessing banned materials to fan brawls to logistical challenges related to crowd flow. Paired with increasing threat levels associated with largely attended areas in general, these possibilities warrant strong safety protocol and situational awareness to keep crowds safe.