Leadership / 12.05.19
Lockdown: The Birth of Enhanced Security for the Super Bowl Came on Nafe's Watch
VenuesNow (12/01/19) Muret, Don
Former National Football League executive Jim Steeg recounted that Tampa Stadium's then-director of operations Rick Nafe was instrumental in enhancing security at the Super Bowl in 1991 during the Gulf War. U.S. retaliation against Iraq's invasion of Kuwait began 10 days before the game, requiring a rushed upgrade of security, which Nafe oversaw. "We had pat-downs, which had never been done before ... and that was the first time airspace was really locked down for an event," Steeg noted. He added that with Nafe, "you didn't have time to debate stuff — you just had to do it. We had to find overnight the barriers to put in place around the stadium. Now, there's a 300-foot secured perimeter already in place. We had to make up our own perimeter ... and we used the streets." On the Friday night before the game, law enforcement received a tip that somebody would steal a police car, load it with bombs, and drive it into the stadium, which gained credibility on game night when someone stole a police car in St. Petersburg, Florida. "We ended up with volunteers from Tampa PD at every one of the gates coming into the parking lots," Steeg said. He noted Nafe was essential to implementing many last-minute safeguards.
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Tags: Security , News , NFL