Expect heightened security at MAPFRE for MLS Cup Final

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Major League Soccer takes over Columbus this weekend for the MLS Cup Finals. The Columbus Crew takes on the Portland Timbers this Sunday.

But that’s just days from the country’s most recent terror attack, and some are concerned about safety.

Columbus Police and homeland security are teaming up with MAPFRE Stadium this weekend to make sure fans are safe. But law enforcement says it’s business as usual; that it’s the same effort taken for any major event in the city.

More than 20K fans will pack Mapfre Stadium this weekend. Laura DeAngelis and Malu Marzarotto will be there too.

“Crew fans are like the biggest fans, and they’re willing to go to the game and support the fans and the players 100 percent,” Marzarotto said.

The pair says the recent terror attacks have everyone on high alert but that won’t stop them from cheering their team.

“There’s always some sense of concern, but I think the excitement always overrides it,” says DeAngelis.

Bruce Ingram agrees. He says, “Am I concerned about big crowds? You bet I am… But I’m gonna go anyway.”

The security effort is already in motion. Metal detectors are in place at each stadium entrance and Columbus Police Officers will be in force.

Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner says, “They’ll keep a watchful eye over the crowd, make sure everyone’s having a good time and we don’t expect any problems.”

Homeland Security is also part of the effort.

Both agencies say its the same heightened security as any major event, that there are no credible threats.

But they say they need your help too.

“Stay vigilant, continue reporting anything that looks out of place,” says Sgt Tom Gerber.

Gerber is the Chief of Operations of the Ohio Homeland Security Fusion Center. It’s the hub for law enforcement

For DeAngelis and Marzarotto its a no-brainer. They’re trusting security measures and heading to the game.

Homeland Security has made it extra easy to report anything suspicious with the Safer Ohio app. It’s available for both iPhones and Androids.

When you download the app you’ll enter your name and phone number. Then if you see something suspicious, you can snap a photo and send it directly to homeland security investigators.

Gerber says the photo does not remain on your phone so it can’t be tampered with and he says no tip is too small, trust your instinct.

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