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Morgan Williams

The US Bank Stadium hosted the 2018 Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl increases sex trafficking in the host city

February 9, 2018

While the vast majority of media coverage focuses on the perks of hosting the Super Bowl— from economic benefits to powerful excitement that takes over the city—one critical consequence is too often overlooked. With any Super Bowl, cities tend to experience a rise in human sex trafficking, one of the most evil acts of humanity in which young children face unimaginable suffering at the hands of adults who take them hostage for monetary or sexual purposes. With an incredible influx of revenue, tourism, and media focusing on the city that is hosting the nation’s most watched sporting event, the level of crime that flows through the city also tends to increase. The Super Bowl host city can expect to have thousands of volunteers helping with the event, professional security contractors surrounding major venues, and waves of tourists coming in for the big game.

When the Super Bowl comes to a given city, the NFL coordinates logistics, advertising, and much of the security plan, contacting numerous security companies to keep various venues and events safe. Additionally, thousands of volunteers and temporary paid workers are employed to run the entertainment venues at various locations leading up to the main event. These volunteers and workers are generally trained by professionals from the security company in frisking, threat prevention, and human services. They are also taught to identify and act on signs of human sex trafficking.

For the 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis, Minnesota, security was maximized. From the day the location of the Super Bowl was announced to the weeks leading up to one of America’s largest events of the year, police presence was high to ensure that trafficking and exploitation were kept to an absolute minimum. Public awareness campaigns were another measure Minnesota took, taking place in malls, on radio broadcasts, and also included signs on bus shelters and billboards. There were 28 different security agencies collaborating together to make the Super Bowl and all of its events as safe as possible for all guests. The primary focus of reducing human sex trafficking isn’t necessarily to protect people from being abducted; rather, it is to promote awareness and look for signs of young girls or women who are under the influence of a cruel sex trafficking ring. So many girls are brought into the city of a major venue and the goal of these security departments is to find these girls, get them out of harm’s way, and to identify the individuals paying to exploit them.

The Super Bowl is not the only event that results in an increase in human sex trafficking. The problem is global and affects thousands of children every day. Any major event such as fights and other championship games also causes a spike in trafficking. Due to the fact that the Super Bowl has garnered a reputation for being the biggest event that attracts human trafficking in the world, law enforcement agencies around the country put forth extensive planning and protection efforts to limit the danger, ensuring that the Super Bowl and all of its events and venues are as safe as possible.

Although there is generally a measurable increase in human sex trafficking in the city that is hosting the Super Bowl, the problem takes nationwide and is around the globe. Each day, thousands of people—even children as young as seven years old—are trafficked, abused, and taken advantage of as part of a vicious cycle of violating human rights for monetary incentives. The numbers of those impacted are staggering. According to the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, 85 to 90 percent are girls.  The FBI theorizes that human sex trafficking is the third most active crime internationally behind drugs and counterfeiting.

The standards of living for women and children who are held captive by human sex traffickers are horrible. Many are expected to hit a quota of sex customers every day. These can range from 25 all the way up to 50. If they fail to meet those numbers, they are punished severely. Potential Punishments for the victims range from rape, beatings, and full-fledged torture. The worst is when a different girl is tortured because the first girl did not hit the numbers that she is required to hit. It is a brutal system of forcing money out of girls by exploiting them with fear.

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