NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Bundled-up football fans have been braving the cold to take part in this week’s Super Bowl festivities in Times Square. Super Bowl Boulevard, a 13-block stretch of Broadway between 34th and 47th, officially opened Wednesday.
As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the fans have been practicing their cheering as New Yorkers pick sides and smack talk takes off.
The Froemkes from Seattle have already made their mark on Times Square. Tim Froemke was dressed as a variant on the Incredible Hulk called “Seahulk.”
“Crazy about the Seahawks – been 38 years been waiting for this – are you kidding?” Tim Froemke said.
“Dedicated fans – we love our team,” added Eva Froemke. “We are the secret weapon.”
Adam Dunn is a Denver Broncos fan.
“Friendly competition here — we’ve heard several times Eli (Manning) has two Super Bowl rings; Peyton only has one,” he said. “So we’re hoping to change that come Sunday.”
The energetic crowds along Super Bowl Boulevard have been growing despite weather that remained bitterly cold Thursday but was warming up.
Many visitors said they are fans of the Manning brothers, while others love Seattle – for their coach Pete Carroll’s connections to the Jets.
“Pete Carroll was the onetime coach of the Jets in 1994,” one fan said.
“We always like our New Yorkers. Pete Carroll is a New Yorker from way back,” another said.
Super Bowl players and coaches say they are loving Super Bowl Boulevard. And with the Ultimate Fantasy Football, anyone can come down and be a part and don the helmet of his or her favorite team.
And candy and pizza are free on what has been deemed the greatest stage on earth
The frigid temperatures may have kept some fans away, but plenty came out anyway.
“We thought it would be a little bit warmer, but it’s still in the teens,” fan Jay Rubino told CBS 2’s Sonia Moghe. “It’s like being on a ski slope out here.”
“We thought there would be a lot more (people),” said fan Bob Huscher. “I guess as today goes on, a lot more people will start coming down.”
The street fair features a giant toboggan run, a merchandise shop and a place for fans to try kicking field goals, among other activities. It also features a concert venue called the “NFL Experience.”
The long lines and big crowds didn’t stop 7-year-old Ryan Nelligar and his mom, Denise Martino, from waiting more than 30 minutes to kick a field goal.
The pair got bundled up in warm clothes and traveled from the Bronx to experience the Super Bowl mania first-hand. Ryan was still supporting his favorite team by wearing a Giants hat.
“It’s amazing,” Martino told CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco. “It really didn’t him me until a day or two ago. I was online, and I saw a picture of what they were doing at Times Square. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I have to go down there,’ and I wanted to take him.”
Ryan also went on the toboggan ride, and he and his mom got a close look at the Vince Lombardi trophy.
However, Ryan was not too impressed.
“The only thing I like about it is that it’s shiny,” he said.
Organizers expect more than a million people to visit the boulevard this week. For more information about events going on around New York and New Jersey, visit, www.nynjsuperbowl.com.
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