ATLANTA — As the countdown to the Super Bowl in Atlanta continues, the city's safety partners are fine-tuning their plans in place to make sure the event goes off without a hitch.
While officials have had plans in place since last January, as expected, there are serious challenges to making sure an event of this size runs smoothly without incident. They've been meeting monthly, but now it's crunch time, and the meetings will start to get closer and closer.
On Sept. 11, the Atlanta Police, the Super Bowl Host Committee and nearly 40 more agencies held a safety meeting explaining what some of those challenges are, and how they plan to meet them.
On Feb. 3, 2019, Atlanta will play host to nearly a million of people over the course of 10 days. As one can imagine, it can be difficult to keep up the energy for such a long period of time.
To help with that, Assistant Police Chief Rodney Bryant said they will adjust officers' hours to help.
"We will change our staffing hours to make sure we have maximum people on the street," explained Bryant.
Unlike other Super Bowl host cities who have had events spread out throughout the city, everything Super Bowl-related in Atlanta will happen at the Georgia World Congress Center and the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
"We have a lot of the events having in a condensed area," explained Amy Patterson, the VP of operations and logistics for the Super Bowl Committee. "That's a challenge we have, just simple crowd management, with so many people coming in to the area."
3. THE UNKNOWN THREAT
The list of things that could happen over the 10 days the Super Bowl is in Atlanta is long, so APD and the Super Bowl Committee say they are trying to plan for anything and everything - from weather to a terrorist attack.
"We look at what's happened in the past, in other cities. We talk about what that would look like here in Atlanta, and what contingencies we would need to have in place," Patterson with the committee said.
On top of that, Patterson said agents from homeland security to local law enforcement will be present throughout the course of the Super Bowl. The NFL will also be in Atlanta over the weekend to observe a Falcons game in anticipation of the Super Bowl.