PHOENIX (WWLP) – 22News was lucky to get out on Monday before the storm, but we haven’t seen too many New England Patriots fans in Arizona just yet.
Downtown Phoenix has been filled with fans, but many wearing Seahawks jerseys. In the beginning of the week, those who wore Patriots jerseys were fans from other parts of the country, but on Wednesday, 22News spoke with many people from western Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island who were not only grateful they had tickets to the game, but that their flights weren’t delayed or cancelled to get to Phoenix.
“Every other flight was cancelled so I’m very, very lucky. Here I am.” Alex Santos was one of the lucky few who not only got tickets to Super Bowl XLIX, but also flew out on his scheduled flight amidst the cancellations and delays at the airports. 22News spoke with Santos as he got his bags at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. He said, “It’s going to be a good time and can’t wait for the game. Go Pats!”
Another Patriots fan, Nikki Lemarier of Granville, said, “Really nervous all day Monday, going into Tuesday, I got up in the morning and saw that I really only had six inches of snow so I was really hopeful that I would get out on time and thankfully Bradley had two flights coming out this morning and mine was one of them.”
Fans that just arrived have a lot to see. One of the main Super Bowl attractions is the NFL Experience, a chance for fans to explore what it’s like to be a professional football player. As part of the NFL Experience, Patriots fans could go right up close to the Vince Lombardi Trophy, which they hope Tom Brady will be holding on Sunday.
Until then, it’s party central from Phoenix through Glendale and Scottsdale. Paul Labonte lives in Arizona but has been a diehard Patriots fan since his childhood days in Worcester. He said, “Of course, we’re Patriots fans and the Patriots are in the bowl so we’re here! Woohoo!”
Labonte even has a Patriots tattoos with his twin daughters names on it, and was hoping to get his gear signed by the players. “We have footballs with us. We have everything. (Deflated footballs?) Actually yeah!”
Even if they didn’t have tickets to the Super Bowl itself, fans were enjoying all the excitement in the 70 degree, sunny weather.
22News reporter Kait Walsh is in Arizona for the big game. Stay with 22News and WWLP.com as she brings you all the excitement and unique experiences associated with this major event, right through Sunday.