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Security heightened for Monday Night Football

PONTIAC, Michigan (CNN) -- Football fans passing through turnstiles at the Pontiac Silverdome for Monday night's nationally televised St. Louis Rams-Detroit Lions football game also will have to pass through stricter security checkpoints in the wake of military airstrikes in Afghanistan.

"Everybody coming in will be searched," said Pontiac Police Captain Gordon Bovee.

That could take quite some time since the game is a sell-out; the Silverdome seats 80,325 people.

Bovee would not disclose how many police officers would be working on security detail, but said "there will be a 25 to 30 percent increase in the number of uniformed police officers at the game," in addition to plainclothes officers, Oakland County Sheriff's Deputies, State Police and the FBI.

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Spectators will have to pass through three security checkpoints and the Silverdome is limiting what people can bring in to the game.

No backpacks, large bags, coolers, portable radios and TVs, aerosol cans, flags, banners, bottles and cans, cameras, video recorders or weapons will be allowed inside.

Arriving fans must pass single-file through one checkpoint at the entry gates. They will be checked again at the turnstiles, and some will be randomly checked with wand metal detectors used at airports, said Bovee, who advised people to get to the game early.

'User-friendly as possible'

"We're trying to make this as user-friendly as possible," said Bovee.

As for parking, fans will be allowed to tailgate outside the dome as usual, but some vehicles will be subject to search.

"Everything is normal except any large motor homes, buses and trucks will have to be inspected prior to them getting on the lot."

The game -- which will be televised on ABC -- begins at 9 p.m. Parking lots opened at 4 p.m. and fans can enter the Silverdome beginning at 6 p.m.

In addition to the security restrictions inside the dome will be restrictions of another kind outside.

The Federal Aviation Administration has restricted all aircraft from flying in the 4-nautical-mile radius of the Silverdome, with one exception: The Oakland County Sheriff's Department will be conducting helicopter patrols during the game.


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