SANTA CLARA (KCBS) – Police and sheriff’s deputies are gearing up for the first official sporting event to be held at Levi’s Stadium on Saturday, as the San Jose Earthquakes will take on the Seattle Sounders.
Hundreds of extra officers will be on hand, not only at the stadium, but even as soccer fans travel to the match. With Valley Transportation Authority light rail trains expected to carry thousands of fans to Levi’s Stadium, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department, which provides security for VTA, is preparing for the extra passenger load.
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“The strategy we’ve come up with is there’s obviously going to be a uniform presence. We’re going to be using technology. There’s a closed-circuit television system that will be enhanced to monitor the crowd,” said Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup.
He said plain clothes deputies will also be riding the trains, and the bomb squad will be on duty. “We do have the use of bomb protection dogs that will be sweeping the trains,” Stenderup said.
Meanwhile, the Santa Clara Police Department has deputized an extra 100 officers from other cities to keep an eye out for drunk and disorderly fans. Lt. Kurt Clarke said if fans do get rowdy, they could be taken to a special detention cell in the basement of the stadium.
“They can be taken to that facility, processed, booked, and if needed, transported to county jail,” Clarke said.
Some 45,000 fans are expected at the soccer match on Saturday. That’s compared to about 70,000 fans for the San Francisco 49ers first pre-season game, as they host the Denver Broncos on August 17.