There’s this rumor going around that I refuse to believe. Please help me debunk it.
The story — related to me at dinner in all seriousness by a serious person who convinced me that he believed it– is that Homeland Security have banned tailgate parties at the Super Bowl, which you may have heard is being held in Miami this year.
I’ve been somewhat distressed to see how meekly Americans put up with ‘security theater’ requirements that restrict their freedoms while adding at best minuscule amounts to actual security. But if the day comes when football fans will give up their tailgate parties due to some diktat from Homeland Security, well, that’s the day that I’ll have to admit beyond peradventure that the people who hate our freedoms have won.
I did a little google search and can’t find anything which suggests such a limit might be in force, which strengthens my belief that this is an urban legend. (I did find some fun debunking of other Super Bowl related urban legends.)
I did find this long list of security restrictions on what you can bring into Dolphin Stadium but I don’t read this as applying to the parking areas where the tailgate parties happen.
Full text of the somewhat Draconian security rules for entrance into the stadium reproduced below. I wonder if the rumor is based on these?
SUPER BOWL GAME DAY RESTRICTIONS
Every person attending Super Bowl XLI at Dolphin Stadium is required to have a ticket, regardless of age or size.
Screening Procedures for Those Attending Super Bowl XLI
Security screening at Dolphin Stadium will be significantly heightened for the Super Bowl. Many items usually permitted in NFL events will not be allowed into the Super Bowl. The National Football League and the Miami-Dade Police Department strongly recommend that spectators minimize the number and size of all items carried into the Stadium.
All items carried by spectators will be carefully inspected and potentially not allowed into the Stadium. Spectators are urged to bring nothing larger than a very small purse or bag. The NFL, Dolphin Stadium and the Miami-Dade Police Department will not hold prohibited or excluded items for spectators.
Safety and security of all fans is still at the forefront in preparation for Super Bowl XLI.
THE FOLLOWING ITEMS CANNOT BE BROUGHT INTO DOLPHIN STADIUM:
Weapons, Knives and Explosives
Laser Lights and Pointers
Inflatables (Beach Balls, etc.)
Throwing Objects (Footballs, etc.)
Poles or Sticks
Animals (Except Service Animals)
Noisemakers and Horns
Food and Beverages
Containers of any type:
- * Coolers (of any size)
* Cans, Hairspray
* Camera and Binocular Cases/Tripods
* Mace / Pepper Spray
Large Bags including:
- * Backpacks
* Duffel and Grocery Bags
Size Requirements — All permissible items carried by spectators must measure no more then
12 inches x 12 inches x 12 inches.
Cameras and Binoculars — Small cameras and binoculars will be allowed. Camera cases and binocular cases of any size are prohibited. No spectator cameras with lenses over six inches (6″) long will be permitted. Again, camcorders will be prohibited.
Electronic devices — Spectators are strongly urged not to bring electronic devices of any sort into the Stadium. Any electronic device will be thoroughly inspected causing delays of the individual spectator, as well as other patrons. Electronic devices include, but are not limited to, cellular telephones, pagers, miniature televisions and radios, and personal digital assistants (PDA’s).
Prohibited items and items determined to be not appropriate for entry into the Stadium will be the responsibility of the ticket holder and cannot be accepted or checked by the NFL, Dolphin Stadium or the Miami-Dade Police Department. We urge spectators to secure these items in vehicles or hotel rooms.
The cooperation, patience and understanding of spectators is greatly appreciated by the National Football League, Dolphin Stadium and the Miami-Dade Police Department. The cooperation of all spectators will greatly aid in the level of security provided to all in attendance at these events.