NFL fans face tight security after Paris attacks

Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:57pm EST
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By Larry Fine

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Reuters) - From Seattle to New York, the National Football League stepped up security inside and outside of stadiums on Sunday as America's most popular sports league responded to a series of coordinated attacks across Paris that left at least 129 dead.

Football fans, who were subject to vehicle searches and banned from bringing backpacks and purses into arenas, greeted new measures with a mixture of good humor, annoyance and resignation.

"We’ve had our 9/11. They had what happened to them. We’re all one, without question. We sympathize absolutely," Craig Corcoran of the Bronx told Reuters, referring to the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on New York's World Trade Center.

"It’s not going to stop us from having a good time. Over there, it’s the same way. They’re still going to go out and have their fun and they should," Corcoran said outside of MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

While the U.S. Department of Homeland Security informed the National Football League there were no known specific threats, Commissioner Roger Goodell was taking no chances and ordered beefed-up security at all venues.

"The safety of our fans, stadium personnel, and teams at all NFL games is our priority, and security at our games is robust," the league said in a statement.

The NFL and other North American professional sport leagues went on high alert after one of the attacks on Friday targeted a friendly soccer match between France and Germany where suicide bombers apparently attempted to enter the Stade de France, in a suburb just north of Paris.

At MetLife, where the New York Giants were hosting the unbeaten, reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in one of Sunday's marquee games, trucks and vans got special attention at the stadium complex.   Continued...

Nov 15, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA;  A general view of Lincoln Financial Field prior to the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Miami Dolphins  at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports