"Virtual Dome" Over Super Bowl Stadium

By: CBS
By: CBS

(CBS) Super Bowl XLIII will be the first in Tampa, Fla., since 9/11, with some 100,000 guests and 4,500 media members flocking to town.

And security will be ratcheted up accordingly, reports CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella.

The game zone, she says, will become a safe zone, with no civilian aircraft allowed within 30 miles of Raymond James Stadium.

"We need to be able to maneuver for law enforcement purposes," explained the U.S. Customs Service's Richard Rojas.

And on the ground, says Cobiella, only ticketholders and the media will be permitted to get close.

"We're trying to create almost a virtual dome," says Tampa Police Maj. John Bennett. "We want to protect the land space, the air space, everything we can."

And they'll keep a virtual eye on it all with a new, hi-tech tabletop map showing maneuverable, wide, aerial views - a Super Bowl first.

"If we have a threat or a risk or a hazardous device or anything else," says Bennett, "I can figure out the proximity, what my resources are, and how to adjust those resources."

The cost of it all for Tampa: $300,000, money well-spent in the eyes of city tourism officials, who hope their guests will more than make up for it with a windfall for the city's coffers.

The Tampa Host Committee's Reid Sigmon says they're looking at a potential score of some $300 million, based on prior cities' totals.

But, Cobiella points out, this isn't a typical year, with the economy slumping as badly as it is. Playboy and Sports Illustrated even canceled their annual parties.

And Super Bowl regulars say the celebration is subdued.

Asked if things seem different this year, fan Lee Trythal, who says he's been to 12 of the last 13 Super Bowls, told Cobiella, "It seems like there's not as much glitz and glamour" this time around.

Tom Henschel, 67, doesn't go for the glitz or glamour, just the game. He says he hasn't missed a single Super Bowl. He paid only $12 apiece for tickets to the first three. The most he's ever paid: $1,500 dollars to a scalper in 1996.

This year? He lives in Tampa, so the face-value of his ticket ($800) will be his only expense.

To him, though, no price is too high.

"I'll go now until I really can't walk anymore," he says. "Really!"

"Or (until) I can't talk anymore!" he laughed. "Whatever."

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