Obama may attend Super Bowl XLV

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by CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on January 19, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 19 at 9:23 PM

ARLINGTON — If it's possible, security for Super Bowl XLV just got tighter.

During a photo opportunity with the president of China on Wednesday, President Obama said that if his hometown Chicago Bears win the NFC championship game this weekend, he will be coming to the big game at Cowboys Stadium.

"Oh, we're going," the president said. "If the Bears are in the Super Bowl, we're going — no doubt."

That puts local law enforcement agencies on alert. No sitting president has ever been to a Super Bowl.

Agencies from the Secret Service to the FBI and Arlington Police all have to come up with a plan — just in case President Obama wants a ticket to the game.

The FBI told News 8 that a presidential visit changes everything.

First of all, the Secret Service will want final say on just about all aspects of game day, including:

The timing of the arrival of Air Force One, the presidential jumbo jet

The handling of the motorcade to get President Obama to the game

Air and ground traffic around the stadium

It could also mean more screening for fans who will be streaming in to Cowboys Stadium on February 6.

Then, if the president plans to stay the night in North Texas, the city where he stays will also have to provide support to the Secret Service and a secure hotel facility.

That would require even more agencies to get involved in Super Bowl plans and traffic routes, including police escorts to and from the airport.

Arlington Police are in charge right now. They wouldn't go into specific plans about presidential security.

A spokesperson would only say that a presidential visit has always been a possibility, and that plans are ready in case it happens.

There is a meeting tomorrow with all of the agencies that will provide security at the big game. That will be the best chance to see how or if plans change with a possible visit from the President of the United States.

E-mail cnorton@wfaa.com

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