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There are 107 days until Super Bowl LIII: Is Atlanta prepared?


There are 107 days left before Mercedes-Benz Stadium hosts Super Bowl LIII, and massive preparations are ongoing in Atlanta.

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Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman of Operations Brett Daniels is one of an army of local leaders who have spent more than two years preparing for the big game, which will be played Feb. 3.

The collaboration is unbelievable," Daniels said. "Every different scenario has been factored in. Everything you can imagine has been thought of."

At a media briefing Friday, Daniels announced specific downtown road closures. 

All of Andrew Young International Boulevard through the Georgia World Congress Center Campus will be closed to traffic for 10 days. 

On Saturday and Super Bowl Sunday, Northside Drive will be shut down between Ivan Allen Jr. and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards. So will MLK and Mitchell streets from Northside Drive to Centennial Olympic Park Drive. 

MARTA trains will run 24/7 from Friday through Sunday. 

Jeffrey Parker, the CEO of MARTA, said the transit system expects some of the highest ridership the city has ever seen. 

“I’m not going to be on who’s going to win the game, but I’ll bet that it’ll be the highest ridership, transit ridership, of any Super Bowl, so we have a lot of work to do," Parker said. "But we’ve also done a lot of work in preparation.”

Jon Barker, the vice president of event operations with the National Football League, said he has high confidence that the city is prepared. 

“Without a doubt, (I have a) high level of confidence, especially with everything we’ve seen here, all the meetings that we’ve had, the years of planning that have gone into this," Barker said. "Yeah, confidence level is extraordinarily high for this Super Bowl.”

Public safety is also obviously a huge concern. 

Atlanta police Chief Erika Shields won't release too many specifics of her department’s public safety plan, but said people can expect a huge police presence on the Georgia World Congress Center Campus and expanding security perimeters as you get close to the Super Bowl itself. 

"We are in a good space," Shields said. "We are on point where we should be and it's good."

Shields said collaboration among the many organizations planning for the Super Bowl is essential. 

"There's a lot of nuances you have to consider and anticipate, which is why it's imperative that we have so many diverse people," Shields said. 

Daniels said there's always the unknown, but they are ready for it. 

“You have to rely on your teammates and know that you can count on them," Daniels said. "And when something does change and you get that curve ball, they're ready for it.”

"We’re ramping up to that place where we’re ready to execute," Shields said. "We want to play our game.”


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