NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Super Bowl Boulevard officially opened Wednesday with a series of fan-related events around Times Square.
The 13-block stretch of Broadway between 34th and 47th 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.”
“Along with the theme of embracing the cold and embracing the weather, we said let’s do something very different, let’s do it largely outside and let’s do it in a bold way,” Super Bowl host committee CEO Al Kelly said.
Since only 80,000 fans can make it inside MetLife Stadium on Sunday, the NFL is hoping that more than a half-million others will come revel in pregame fun over the next four days, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
And that strategy may be working as fans from China, Mexico and England were taking in the scene on Super Bowl Boulevard on Wednesday.
“If you’re a fan and you just want to get a piece of it, all you have to do is walk up,” NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman said Monday.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Vince Lombardi Trophy made its debut along the “boulevard.” The trophy will be awarded to the winner of Sunday’s big game.
New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck carried the prestigious award from a truck to a trophy display area as a marching band played.
Just off the Super Bowl Boulevard, Jets fans have a place to call home at the Jets House, where players will be signing autographs.
In fact, as 1010 WINS’ Holli Haerr reported, many of the people spotted in and around Times Square on Wednesday were wearing Jets and Giants jerseys. Their teams may not be playing Sunday, but they’re excited the Super Bowl is in the area, and for the next few days, a stretch of Broadway has been turned into Super Bowl Boulevard.
“It’s great to see everybody out and about on a cold day,” one man said.
Twelve-year-old Joseph McGinty, of Monroe, N.Y., was among those who road a toboggan down Broadway on Wednesday.
“This is probably the closest I’m going to ever get to a Super Bowl kind of thing,” the young football player told Haerr.
Meanwhile, others on Super Bowl Boulevard admitted they weren’t exactly football fans.
“I like to going to football parties,” said Andrea, of Midtown.
Andrea and her friend also rode toboggans.
“It was awesome,” she said. “When do you get to go tobogganing in Times Square?”
All Super Bowl Boulevard venues will be open daily from noon to 10 p.m. through Saturday.
In addition to the 13-block street fair on Broadway, there are partial closures on West 41st Street with portions of 9th Avenue, 42nd and 45th streets closed as well.
Security will also be tight on Super Bowl Boulevard.
James Hall, the chief of patrol for the NYPD, said there will be an extensive police presence as well as aviation units and boat patrols on the Hudson and East rivers. Canine units will be at all venues.
For more information about events going on around New York and New Jersey, visit, www.nynjsuperbowl.com.
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