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Opinions & Editorials Discuss The NFL, not the federal government, should pay for Super Bowl security at the General Forum; I didn't realize that the federal government actually helped provide security for a sports event. This is WAY beyond the ...

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Old 01-29-2019, 08:56 AM
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Default The NFL, not the federal government, should pay for Super Bowl security

I didn't realize that the federal government actually helped provide security for a sports event. This is WAY beyond the function of the government, and I agree that it should stop. The NFL or the owners of the teams playing in this event should be the ones to foot the bill, not taxpayers.

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According to an FBI spokesman, USA Today reports, "more than 1,500 public safety personnel" will be involved in security for the upcoming Super Bowl, including an unspecified numbers of federal officials. At the local level, an Atlanta police spokesman told CNN, "every Atlanta police officer will be on duty, working 12-hour shifts from January 26 to February 5."

For last year's Super Bowl, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports, $5 million was set aside by the event's host committee to cover security costs, plus more than $1 million to reimburse the Minnesota National Guard. The effort, according to the Star-Tribune, was planned to include "hundreds of officers from 60 police departments across the state, 40 federal agencies and related offices, 400 members of the Minnesota National Guard and private contractors."

And the NFL isn't on the hook for these costs.

When a city bids on a Super Bowl, the NFL stipulates that pregame and day-of-game security will be incurred "at no cost to the NFL." For the host city, that might be an acceptable trade-off: Cities solicit funding from big donors or host committees to offset or augment the cost to public entities in exchange for the event's anticipated (or, at least, hoped for) cachet and revenue.

There's no such trade-off for the federal government. Federal resources allocated to support Super Bowl security are, effectively, chalked up to the federal government's ongoing mission to protect the public, which serves the common good and benefits all, which is true in the broadest sense: Millions of Americans will watch and enjoy the game this Sunday. But as much of an American institution as it is, it's tough to justify categorizing the Super Bowl, with all its attendant costs, as vital to protecting national interests, which should be the motivation at the core of any federal law enforcement action. And, as with a private entity that has the wherewithal to foot the security bill, the argument for the United States incurring the security costs becomes even less justifiable. https://www.stripes.com/sports/the-n...maCYMlOzF1Oryk
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