Super Bowl Events Draw Thousands, While Panthers, Broncos Arrive in Bay Area

With only one week to go before the Super Bowl, tens of thousands of people flocked to San Francisco Sunday to take part in the pre-game festivities.

Over at the NFL experience, fans couldn’t wait to take a look at the Vince Lombardi trophy, which made its way to the Bay over the weekend.

Super Bowl City along Embarcadero proved to be a big draw as well, with football fans coming out in droves wearing their favorite team’s sports gear.

Most attendees noticed a heightened security presence, which should come as no surprise considering the scale of the event and protesters who on Saturday tried to interrupt the festivities.

"Walking into the city experience, we saw sharpshooters with their rifles all ready," said Mary Barnachea, a Dallas Cowboys fan who was at Super Bowl City.

The San Francisco Police Department explained that the added security detail helps make visiting patrons feel safer. Plus, given the city’s history with hosting elaborate parties, the police department wanted to be prepared.

"San Francisco is no stranger to special events," said Sgt. Michael Andraychak. "We have the Pride Parade. We have three World series runs and the associated parades."

Still, even San Francisco natives couldn’t help but be impressed by the spectacle.

"It’s great, you know?" remarked Lito Barnachea, a Bay Area resident. "How often does The City host the Super Bowl?"

While fans looked eagerly ahead to the Super Bowl, the two teams playing in the big game touched down in the Bay Area.

Though many expected a huge show of fan fair, the landing was rather subdued thanks to a private charter facility at the San Jose International Airport.

The Denver Broncos landed at 2:30 p.m. in San Jose and were whisked off to the Santa Clara Marriot, where they will be staying. Their practice field isn’t far by, over at Stanford University.

The Carolina Panthers landed a little later at 4:30 and will be staying at the San Jose Marriot. For practice, the team has full use of the field over at San Jose State University.

Players for both teams, it seems, are eager to get in some work to prepare for what is likely to be one of the biggest games of their career.

Meanwhile, a Belgian Malinois named Mighty Mousekewitz was a hit as she waved to people flocking to Levi’s Stadium. The dog, which was the runt of a litter and not expected to survive long, visits with and waves at patients at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford.

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Pup Enjoys Super Bowl

#SB50: Thousands partied it up at Super Bowl City today -- including this pup, who couldn't help but wave at onlookers. -->

Posted by NBC Bay Area on Sunday, January 31, 2016
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