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Gov't Required Barricade Headache For Super Bowl XLV

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Gov't Required Barricade Headache For Super Bowl XLV

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A general view of the exterior of Cowboys Stadium.

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A government-mandated barricade, required at the Super Bowl and indeed all "Level 1" events, has become the source of some worry on the part of local organizers, who believe that the perimeter will deal a severe blow to the traffic flow in downtown Arlington next February, when Super Bowl XLV comes to town, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The 300-foot security perimeter will close major sections of some parking areas, but this isn't the issue for North Texas organizers; it was only after Michael Morris, the director of transportation for the North Texas Council of Governments, unveiled a rough illustration of the perimeter at a presentation to the Arlington League of Women Voters, that the potentially obtrusive qualities of the state-required barricade surfaced.

The security-barricade, as it is designed now, would interfere with Randol Mill Road, Legends Way and Cowboys Way, all major roads surrounding Cowboys Stadium.

However, some planners maintain that the barricade, only in its infant stages of design now, won't present as much of an issue in suburban Arlington as it has in the past, when the game has been played in more urban locations.

"Looking ahead to North Texas, [the barrier] is not as cumbersome as it was in New Orleans or Tampa or Detroit, where Ford Stadium is downtown," said Brian McCarthy, a public relations representative for the NFL, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "In the next weeks and months, we'll be working with local agencies on the footprint."

Tiara Ellis Richard, an Arlington police spokeswoman, said that it's too early to speculate on the effects of the barrier on traffic flow next February, and, beyond that, that the organizational obstacles posed by "the big game" won't be all that different from those of the NBA All-Star Game, a month ago.

"We know there will be requirements, we know the need for a barrier, and if roads are closed or we have to do this or that, we'll make sure the public knows early," Richard said. "But this won't be foreign to us: Randol Mill was closed off for the NBA All-Star Game."

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