Security and sun greet fans for Super Bowl 50

Sun Feb 7, 2016 7:53pm EST
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By Steve Keating

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Reuters) - Heavy security and brilliant sunshine greeted football fans as they descended on Levi's Stadium for Super Bowl 50 between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

As if it had been specially ordered by the National Football League for the Golden anniversary, Mother Nature delivered perfect party weather with blue skies and unseasonably warm temperatures hovering around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius).

The weather helped lighten the mood as thousands of fans passed through heavy security put in place following recent attacks in San Bernardino, Calif. and Paris.

Earlier in the week, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said law enforcement officials had worked with their French counterparts to learn from last year’s deadly attacks in the French capital.

Those attacks included the detonation of a suicide vest outside a soccer match.

Heavily armed soldiers backed up by armored vehicles ringed an imposing security perimeter around the state-of-the-art stadium in Silicon Valley.

"It looks like Operation Desert Storm,” Matt Ciszkawski, 44, of the Bay Area said with a laugh.

Inside the security ring, bomb-sniffing dogs and law enforcement officers patrolled the complex while fans entering the stadium faced airport style security, passing through metal detectors and pat downs.   Continued...

A U.S. military helicopter patrols before NFL Super Bowl 50 outside Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, United States, February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake