BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Just 86 days separate the city of Birmingham and the World Games 2022.
While athletes and patrons make final arrangements to attend the international sporting event, the city itself is making final arrangements to keep them safe.
In a Tuesday press conference, Mayor Randall Woodfin was joined by World Games 2022 CEO Nick Sellers and Secret Service Birmingham Special Agent in Charge Patrick Davis to discuss some of the safety precautions and security measures the city is taking this summer.
“You will see security efforts, unlike anything we’ve ever seen at a sporting or entertainment event in our city,” Woodfin said.
The event itself has been classified as a SEAR Level 1, which will require federal assistance for both security and public safety, similar to other major sporting events. It is just one level below a National Specialty Security event, which is given to presidential inaugurations and State of the Union addresses to name a few.
Smith will be leading a unified command between both local and federal law enforcement agencies for the games. He says he wants to avoid a possible attack as 16 people were injured in a New York City subway shooting just a few hours before the press conference.
Sellers said that attendees at the games should expect “a Super Bowl level, a national championship football game level of security.”
“It won’t be over burdensome but these are things that we have to do to ensure that we have a very safe event for 11 days as we welcome the world to our great city,” Sellers said.
Full security guidelines for the World Games 2022 will be released closer to the opening ceremony, but some of the requirements you can expect include only clear bags being allowed in certain sections and having to go through magnetometers.
“This is 24 Super Bowls happening over a 10-day span,” Smith said. “So, security is imperative.”
Another element that Sellers touched on is the transportation for the World Games as road closures and detours are expected to happen as part of security detail. He says that a more in-depth public transportation plan will be released at a later time as well and will make things easier and safer for patrons.