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Preparing For A Very Cold Super Bowl In Minneapolis

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

And now to tonight's Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. It's expected to be the coldest Super Bowl in history. The teams will play inside U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., where it's expected to be just 5 degrees at kickoff. Nina Moini of Minnesota Public Radio reports on the warmup to the big game.

(CHEERING)

NINA MOINI, BYLINE: A six-block stretch of downtown Minneapolis known as Nicollet Mall has been transformed. Where buses usually pass through, there's a giant ice track and stage. Cross-country skiing, tubing and live, free concerts are just a few of the activities hundreds of thousands of visitors watched in the nights leading up to the game.

VIRGINIA KNOX: It's a wonderful place to live, even though it's 20 below at some times. But it's still a lovely place to live.

MOINI: In the crowd, Minnesotans like Virginia Knox are eager to show off all this state of about 5.5 million people has to offer in what's expected to be the coldest Super Bowl game day in history.

MICHAEL GIVENS: It gets cold in Philly but not this cold.

MOINI: Until game day, Philadelphia Eagles fan Michael Givens says he'll spend most of his time inside at the Mall of America. Just 15 minutes from the downtown Minneapolis festivities, the biggest mall in the country played host to 150 media broadcasters from around the world rubbing elbows with NFL stars. Givens took all this in.

GIVENS: We're just getting a feel for the town. This is our first day in the Mall of America. And it's huge.

MOINI: He's decked out in Green Eagles gear, the lone Philadelphia fan in a sea of purple and gold - Vikings fans - who are still a little bitter about missing the Super Bowl after losing to his team.

GIVENS: They treat us a lot nicer than our fans treated the Vikings fans out there, even though I wasn't part of it.

MOINI: Many of those Viking fans, like Belinda and Tim Souer, are from out-state Minnesota. They drove hours to catch a glimpse of their favorite players at the mall.

BELINDA SOUER: Oh, this is great. I'm loving seeing my guys and seeing my broadcasters. And it's really exciting.

MOINI: Among the visitors, fans from Philly are expected to outnumber their New England rivals 3 to 2. But Patriots fan Andy Burnette isn't worried. He's focusing on the game his team is favored to win.

ANDY BURNETTE: It's great to be a Pats fan anywhere (laughter).

MOINI: Super Bowl 52 is expected to bring $407 million in new spending to the Twin Cities metro area and up to 1 million visitors from around the state and country. For NPR News, I'm Nina Moini in Minneapolis.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONSTER RALLY'S "LOVELY YOU") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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