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Surveillance steps up in US as Super Bowl XLIX designated Level 1 security event

Super Bowl XLIX will pack over 60,000 fans into the University of Phoenix Stadium, many paying over $8,000 (£5,000) for the pleasure of watching the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots battle it out for the NFL championship.

Even though it seems like a civilised event, the US Department of Homeland Security has designated it as a Level 1 security event, one level lower than presidential inaugurations and UN General Assembly meetings.

There is no specific, credible threat according to DHS, but due to the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 and more recently the attacks on Charlie Hebdo the US is taking no risks.

DHS is adding hundreds of officers and Secret Service representatives to watch over the event and has made the stadium a "no drone zone", similar to the 2-mile zone in Washington D.C., covering the Pentagon, White House and CIA.

Social media sites Facebook and Twitter will be monitored by the Secret Service, which will be looking for words like 'black out' and other similar phrases. The Al Jazeera blog is also being monitored by the service.

Fans will be screened with metal detectors and pat downs, alongside even more screening for chemicals using BioWatch monitoring systems, which can pick up things like nuclear material.

Climatec will deploy high-definition cameras to provide the Secret Service with full vision of the stadium, allowing the representatives to view anyone showing signs of possible threat.

It is not clear how much the security will cost the DHS, the last year $36 million (£24 million) was funded by local government to make sure everything was safe, but a blackout for 30 minutes caused major disruption.

The University of Phoenix Stadium believes it should have enough power to keep all the lights on this time, but the DHS is focused on making sure every part of the event is secure.

Seeing as the Super Bowl will be given global coverage, it's definitely wise to err on the side of caution.