The energy generated by fans who packed Super Bowl Boulevard's inaugural day countered the bone-chilling cold temperatures yesterday.
Thousands lined up for free events along Broadway between West 34th and 47th streets, ranging from concerts and autograph sessions with NFL greats to obstacle courses and video games.
For fans young and old, the celebrations for Sunday's game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks were an awesome way to spend the day.
"We'll probably never be able to go to the Super Bowl. It's the closest we can get to the game," said Casey Rosen, 19, an NYU student from Rockland County who came with her two friends.
Despite waiting in the cold for many attractions, such as the stage that featured performances by the Jets cheerleaders and autograph sessions with players, fans said the event exceeded their expectations.
Philadelphia Eagles star DeSean Jackson thanked the crowd for dealing with Mother Nature's cold spiral.
"I know we're in New York and there are a lot of New York fans here but we've still got Eagles fans. Eagles, baby!" he told the cheering spectators.
From now through Sunday, the boulevard will be closed to all vehicular traffic to accommodate the venues and crowds. The city has touted Super Bowl Boulevard for weeks in the lead-up to the game. Although the game will be played at the Meadowlands, the NFL wanted to make sure the rest of the Tri-State Area benefited from the Super Bowl's presence.
The die-hard area football fans, who came decked out in their favorite team jerseys, said they were grateful that the city and league came together in NYC.
"It's about time [the NFL] looked beyond the cold weather and held events like this in other cities," said Jets fan Clem Gonzales, 45, of Long Island.
Brian Carey, 46, waved a Broncos flag as he made his way through the streets. "New York City always loves a good party," he said.