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Sunday Mornings with Rania: Super Bowl Safety

Rania Mankarious
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Rania Mankarious

Rania Mankarious is executive director of Crime Stoppers of Houston(Photo: lawellphoto.com)

Today is the big day. A lot of us just finished a week and weekend filled with Super Bowl parties. Some will be going to the game and most, if not all of us, will be watching it in just a few hours. I think it’s fair to say that the Houston Super Bowl committee has made Houston proud!

With all the good and the fun, we want to make sure that the last day of this Super Bowl-filled week, actually, the most important day – Super Bowl Sunday – is as safe as possible. Here’s what you need to know, now:

Going to the game? Great! Just remember these important points.

  • There are nine Reliant parking lots with more than 62,000 parking spots but you need a ticket and parking pass to gain entry and park.
  • You cannot get dropped off by a friend; this means there is no bus, limo, sedan or shuttle drop-offs or pickups for SB51. 
  • You can take an Uber or taxi but they will only be allowed to drop you off at a designated area (Uber must go to Maroon Lot 14 and Taxis to Brown Lot).
  • The parking lot opens at 11 a.m.; you can bring food and beverages but no grills.

Make sure you have your ticket – check for authenticity!

  • All Super Bowl tickets are printed on thick stock paper and have overt and covert security measures in place.
  • You cannot print your tickets from home or present a smartphone image or bar code of a ticket.
  • Be wary of scalpers! If the ticket you are buying is stolen or fraudulent, you will not be allowed in and have no recourse for getting your money back.
  • If you want to purchase a resale ticket, even last minute, go to the NFL Ticket Exchange – all tickets are 100 percent verified authentic.

The handbag . . . don’t forget:

  • You can only bring a clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bag not to exceed 12” x 6” x 12”.
  • In the alternative, you can bring a one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag.
  • You can also bring in a small clutch bag that is 4.5” x 6.5” with or without a handle or strap.
  • There are no exceptions for diaper bags but medical exceptions do apply.

Enjoying the game at NRG?

  • Wonderful! Just remember, alcohol will not be served after the third quarter.
  • Also, it takes all of us working together to stay safe. If you see something, say something.

Driving home from the game?

  • Super Bowl Sunday now makes for more dangerous driving conditions than New Year’s Eve. Research has shown that in the hour after the big game ends, the danger of car crashes increases 41 percent. The odds of a New Year’s Eve crash increases by only 10 percent.
  • Have a designated driver in place, call a car service or stay put until you have sobered up to drive.
  • You can also request a safe ride through the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee app.
  • And don’t forget, Houston now has 23 miles of Metro rail! During our last Super Bowl, that number was 7.5 miles of transportation rail.
  • If you’re attending the event, plan where you are going to sleep whether you stay overnight or have a sober ride in place. Don’t leave anyone in your group alone or allow yourself to get pulled away. Also, never leave your drink unattended.

Staying home or having friends over?

  • Remember that even when in the safety of your own home, you bear tremendous responsibly!
  • You cannot serve alcohol to minors, ever.
  • Party hosts can be liable “if the hosts knowingly serves alcohol to minors on their property, or if the hosts supply car keys to an intoxicated adult on the host’s property,” according to the Texas Social Host Law. Violation of this law leads to a Class A misdemeanor, $4,000 in fines, and up to one year incarceration.  
  • Have lots of water and coffee for your guests, allow them time to sober up before leaving your home or have options for people to spend the night.

I am so proud of everything Houston has done to get ready for the Super Bowl and am excited to see who will win the game later today! In the meantime, I’m wishing you and yours a safe, happy and joyful #SB51!

For more information on Crime Stoppers of Houston, go to crime-stoppers.org and follow Crime Stoppers on Facebook. Have topics in mind that you’d like Rania to write about? Email her directly at rmankarious@crime-stoppers.org. Connect with Rania on Instagram and Twitter. Read past Sundays with Rania posts here.

Editor's Note: Views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Buzz Magazines.

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