NEW HAVEN - The Elm City stages its share of well-attended annual events that require police coverage, including the St. Patrick's Day parade, but those events are spread out either geographically or over time, unlike 'The Game' between Harvard and Yale Saturday afternoon at 2:30.
“This is 60,000 people in one place, at one time,” said Officer David Hartman of the New Haven Police Department.
Fans attending the 132nd playing of The Game are advised to pack some patience. For the first time, fans will be greeted by magnetometers, which are “what we commonly know as metal detectors. People entering the bowl are going to have to pass through them, much as you would a screening at an airport,” said Hartman.
Although, Hartman said, this should not be as time-consuming as airports, especially if you don’t bring unnecessary items. This screening method is crucial in the wake of the Paris attacks.
"We are policing anxiety at this point, too,” said Hartman. “So, it's important for people to see that these efforts are not just placebos.”
There will be other visible signs of security at the game, which, for the first time ever, will finish after dark, thanks to temporary lighting that was trucked in.
“You're going to have well over 100 police officers policing this venue during the game, before the game and as long as necessary after the game,” Hartman said.
One of the interesting challenges for the security team: the high-profile alums who will be in attendance from both schools.
“There are many contingencies made for dignitaries that are going to be party to this game,” said Hartman.
Of course, in light of the deadly tailgating accident four years ago, no rental vans or box trucks are permitted in the tailgating area. And don't bring kegs - no tailgating is allowed once the game starts.