Las Vegas is electric on the eve of Super Bowl 58 — LIVE BLOG – Las Vegas Review-Journal

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Super Bowl 58 kicks off at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, but the pregame partying is already underway in Las Vegas.

Check back here throughout the day for everything happening in the city during the lead up to the Super Bowl, from weather and traffic to parties and celebrity sightings.

7:40 p.m.

Quick commute to Allegiant for Thunderbirds

If they are fortunate, the pilots and crew of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds won’t miss much of the Super Bowl on Sunday.

The flight time from their hangar at Nellis Air Force Base is less than three minutes, so they can complete the mission and probably be home before halftime, maybe earlier.

They ran a practice flight earlier this week to get the timing to fly over Allegiant Stadium precisely as the national anthem concludes.

Calling themselves “America’s Team,” the precision pilots have been practicing for their show season that will include flying over the Daytona 500 in Florida in just days.

— Marvin Clemons

7:16 p.m.

Chorus of horns as Strip traffic gridlocks

Traffic in front of Caesars Palace heading south on the Las Vegas Strip is basically at a standstill with very few cars, limos and buses being able to move quickly. The sound of car horns is a near constant.

— Sean Hemmersmeier

6:45 p.m.

Football fun at Raising Cane’s

The party’s still on in the south Strip, where people continue to file in and out of casinos and restaurants.

There’s a line outside Raising Cane’s, where passersby can try to throw a football through an inflated hole.

As fans walk by shouting through horns and shaking noisemakers, people also are taking advantage of the games at the chip-themed Super Bowl pop-up arcade, which includes a Doritos wrestling battle and a slot machine.

Alan Halaly

6:24 p.m.

Swift en route – prop bets are on!

The fun is about to start and all bets are on. People Magazine is reporting Taylor Swift has touched down in Los Angeles and is making her way to Las Vegas. You know what that means, all the Swift prop bets are on, and here’s a few more DraftKings lines to throw some money at:

“Shake It Off”: San Francisco 49ers to Score First, Kansas City Chiefs to Win. +350

“The Last Great American Dynasty”: Chiefs to Win by 22+ Points. +1200

“I Knew You Were Trouble”: 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey to get 150+ Rush and Receiving Yards. +160

“Today Was a Fairytale”: Mr. Swift himself Travis Kelce to Score a TD and Chiefs to Win. +240

— Patrick Blennerhassett

6:20 p.m.

Swiftmania memorabilia hot items

The suspense is over: Taylor Swift is here!

And she’s encased in glass.

A trio of framed photos of the pop supernova — two of them autographed — are up for sale at the Golden Nugget to benefit to the University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Now, we have no idea at all why Swift items would be a part of a sports memorabilia auction.

But there they were, hanging right next to an autographed Travis Kelce jersey.

Not sure what the connection is there, but other offerings included a signed Patrick Mahomes jersey (opening bid: $4999) flanked by a Christian McCaffrey uni ($1999).

Raiders fans can get in on a Jimmy Garoppolo jersey for a very, very telling $249.

About that Kelce jersey: it was sold already.

No word yet on whether it went to an absentee bidder.

— Jason Bracelin

6:20 p.m.

Police presence at Paris Las Vegas

There is a string of Las Vegas Metro cars and one ambulance with lights flashing in front of the Paris Las Vegas hotel along the Strip. Appears paramedics are talking to a man in handcuffs sitting on the curb next to the Metro vehicles.

The cause for the police presence is unclear as the police aren’t talking to the crowd and are just standing around.

-Sean Hemmersmeier

5:54 p.m.

At Durango: ‘Stick with the winner’

Down in the southwest valley at the newly opened Durango Casino & Resort, there was a mix of San Francisco 49ers and Chiefs fans from all over the country placing bets on the game at the sportsbook.

Gilbert Ybarra, 87, moved to Las Vegas eight years ago and was playing some slots in his Chiefs jersey. He is originally from Chicago and has followed the Chiefs since they were in the AFL. He said he put $200 on the Chiefs to win and his strategy was simple.

“Stick with the winner, the Chiefs won last year, so they can probably do it again.”

— Patrick Blennerhassett

5:45 p.m.

Surge prices kicking in for rideshare

The price of using Uber surged dramatically late Saturday as the dinner hour approached.

A ride from Harry Reid International Airport to The Venetian was pricing at between $49.98 and $92.01, depending on the level of service ordered.

The same trip earlier in the day showed a rate of between $21.13 and $41.97.

An Uber driver, Thomas, said rates fluctuate regularly but can be volatile especially when big events are in town.

Saturday turned out to be a good day for late Super Bowl arrivals. FlightAware reported Reid Airport had a total of 78 delays and one cancellation on flights into, out of and through the Las Vegas airport.

A flight is considered delayed if it arrives or departs 15 minutes or more than the scheduled time.

Denver International Airport, enduring a winter snowstorm, was the hardest hit on FlightAware’s “misery map,” with 114 delays.

— Richard N. Velotta

5:30 p.m.

Vegas doing what Vegas does best on Fremont Street

Even the ladies with the leather whips got in the game — though they were playing no favorites.

The pair of Fremont Street Experience performers came clad in leather high heel boots, black fishnet stockings and matching shirts bearing the logos of both the Chiefs and the 49ers.

They were taking no sides while hustling to take pictures with passersby.

Speaking of photos, one of the most popular activities here today — other than slamming brews out of plastic footballs and heckling fans of the opposing squad — was having one’s picture taken within a large frame of the state of Nevada, provided by the Super Bowl Host Committee, who have several booths here.

And what better accouterments to sport when getting that sweet selfie snapped than a thick gold chain adorned with a hubcap-sized team logo pendant?

They were a hot item hawked by a vendor near White Castle. The only thing bigger down here? The bar tab after a few of those aforementioned football beers.

— Jason Bracelin

5:15 p.m.

Gray-blooded Raider fan: Next year

Brian Maley and Linda Campos of Las Vegas are huge Raiders fans.

“His blood is gray,” Campos said of Maley.

Standing in line to get an autograph from Chicago Bears defensive tackle Justin Jones, Maley’s outfit was one of the more eye-catching Raider ensembles at the Super Bowl Experience at Mandalay Bay.

Maley’s mask was ominous, yet glittery. His hat, with two swords struck through it, just like the Raiders’ logo, sparkled with silver glitter.

Maley’s nickname? Soul Taker.

“It’s pandemonium,” Maley said of the atmosphere in Las Vegas ahead of the Super Bowl.

Citing the team’s defense, Maley also gave a two-word prediction for the Raiders next season: “Super Bowl!”

— Brett Clarkson

5:15 pm

The Aria throws its lot in with 49ers

Unlike other resorts that put up signage for both the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, the Aria is favoring the 49ers with its signage. Just behind the check-in area there is banner with the 49ers logo and a “do it for the bay” slogan.

The Lift Bar at the Aria is also teeming with 49ers fans as the casino bar has been converted to a 49ers Fan House-themed bar.

— Sean Hemmersmeier

5:15 p.m.

Strip filling up as evening arrives

Jammed traffic on the Las Vegas Strip as seen from a pedestrian bridge on Tropicana Avenue on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (Sam Morris/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Fans are out in full force on the Strip and elsewhere as the day turns to evening. Ride share drivers can cash in. A standard Uber from the Cosmopolitan, at the center of the Strip, to downtown Las Vegas starts at about $57.

— McKenna Ross

5 p.m.

Pro-Palestinian marchers gather on strip

A group of about 100 protesters holding Palestinian flags and a large cut out of Pres. Joe Biden with devil horns and bloody hands gathered outside of the Neiman Marcus near the intersection of Las Vegas Blvd. and Spring Mountain.

They continued marching down Spring Mountain, followed by a group of six uniformed Metro officers.

— Taylor Avery

4:55 p.m.

‘Not often you’ll see your Super Bowl in your own home town’

In the breezy cold air on the sidewalk outside Mandalay Bay resort on the Strip, a lot of pedestrians were directed by hotel security to the NFL Experience show at the hotel, including Las Vegas locals.

One was Seth Sutterfield, 46, a Spring Valley resident with his young son, hoping to find a booth at the experience with 49er or Chiefs players signing autographs.

Sutterfield, who will watch the game at home, said that prior to the Super Bowl tomorrow, he and some others are going to go hang out next to Allegiant “ just to see what’s going on.”

“It’s not often you’ll see your Super Bowl in your own home town,” he said.

He said he knows where to park for free in the industrial area by the stadium “off the beaten path.”

Sutterfield was wearing a sweatshirt and hat bearing to logos of the Denver Broncos. He would like to see the 49ers prevail, because “I don’t want the Chiefs to win again, but I think the Chiefs will win the game.

— Jeff Burbank

4:50 p.m.

Where’s Taylor?

The latest reports have Taylor Swift’s private jet touching down in Los Angeles just after 3:30 p.m.

Is Las Vegas her next stop? When will she arrive?

4:45 p.m.

Emmitt Smith packs them in at NYNY

Football legend and Hall of Fame inductee Emmitt Smith drew the biggest group yet outside of the New York New York resort.

The NFL’s all-time leading rusher took to the chip-themed stage on the south Strip to discuss his long career as a Dallas Cowboy. Back in the day, football was his ticket out of his hometown, Smith said.

“Man, I’ve come a long way from Pensacola, Fla.,” he said.

This Sunday, Smith said he’s looking forward to the Chiefs scoring the win.

“Patrick Mahomes is, by far, the best quarterback in the national league,” he said. “Ever since Tom Brady exited, he has taken that mantle on himself.”

— Alan Halaly

4:40 p.m.

Festivities kicking off on Fremont Street

The showgirl dressed as green Astroturf complete with football head dress, her smile as wide as the goalposts projected on the digital canopy above her, said it all without saying a word: the Super Bowl festivities have officially made their way to the Fremont Street Experience.

There were other signs: the massive floral football helmet on Fourth Street; in front of the Walgreens, the Gridiron Girls dance squad performing on one of three stages down here; a sea of red as 49ers and Chiefs fans came clad in team gear.

Occasionally, things got a little chippy: at the bar outside of the Four Queens, a group of 49ers fans lustily booed a Chiefs die hard in a yellow wig.

Hey, it never hurts to get a little practice in before the big tomorrow, right?

— Jason Bracelin

4:30 p.m.

Moon: NFL, Vegas ‘come a long way’

Add Warren Moon to the list of people who couldn’t have pictured a Super Bowl in Las Vegas until very recently.

“They didn’t want us to be involved in fantasy football when I was playing, because it was a form of gambling,” the Hall of Fame quarterback said during the Lids Starter Vegas Showcase at the Lids flagship store on the Strip. “They didn’t even want us to come to Vegas to visit back in the day. They didn’t want us going in casinos. It’s come a long way since.”

Not that the league’s suggestion held much weight for the nine-time Pro Bowl selection.

“I always came anyway,” Moon said with a smile, “even though they told me not to.”

Some of those visits were for the celebrity bowling event he held here for 16 years to benefit his foundation.

“I have great, great, positive memories of raising money in this community,” Moon said. “This community was great to me every year we came. We raised millions of dollars for young kids to go to college.”

— Christopher Lawrence

4:29 p.m.

Bettors leaning more toward Chiefs downtown

While the San Francisco 49ers are the betting favorite tomorrow for Super Bowl 58, Mike Palm the vice president of operations for the D, Golden Gate and Circa said Chiefs fans are leading the charge.

“If you would have asked me a week ago, I would have said the 49ers all the way” he said. “But today, so many people are putting bets on the Chiefs.”

Circa sports book is seen on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (Patrick Blennerhassett/Las Vegas Review- ...
Circa sports book is seen on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (Patrick Blennerhassett/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Palm said other than the start of March Madness, this is the busiest they’ve been in a while, and it all started early in the week as it appears fans of the game came early.

He said they have a guy looking to put $1 million on the game but he has yet to say which way he’ll go.

— Patrick Blennerhassett

4:05 p.m.

Rental car counters quiet — for now

It’s pretty clear that just about everybody who wanted a rental car must have picked them up earlier in the week.

Signs at the car-rental counters of the Harry Reid International Airport Rent-a-Car Center said vehicles were available. But at each of the 10 companies’ counters, customers could walk up without waiting in line.

It’s likely to be a different story come Monday morning when visitors drop off their rentals and make their way home on their flights.

— Richard N. Velotta

4 p.m.

Cosmo’s casino floor is packed

The casino area for the Cosmopolitan is packed with people wearing normal apparel as well as 49ers and Chiefs gear. It looks a dealer is at every table game on the casino floor and 90 percent of the table games have active players.

Every 5 minutes or so a Go Niners or Go Chiefs shouts start on the casino floor.

The check in area is very quiet with no line for guests as they arrive with their luggage.

— Sean Hemmersmeier

4 p.m.

Protesters join the crowd

A group of dozens of protesters with signs and flags who were chanting, “free Palestine,” gathered in front of The Venetian as Las Vegas police officers monitored nearby. The group is now moving on sidewalks along the Strip in the direction of Caesars Palace.

— Julie Wootton-Greener

3:58 p.m.

Collecting signatures for a friend

David Olschewski, 59, of Salt Lake City, is a Kansas City Chiefs fan. He was asked which team he expects to win on Sunday.

“49ers!” he said. “No, just kidding. No, the Chiefs will do it. Mahomes will make it happen.” Olschewski, while at the Super Bowl Experience at Mandalay Bay, was carrying a straw Chiefs hat with about 30 signatures on it. The signatures weren’t from football players or celebrities, but from regular people Olschewski has met while in Las Vegas during Super Bowl Week, he said. The hat will be a gift for a family friend in Utah who is a cancer survivor who also has Down Syndrome.

“He’s going to love it,” Olschewski said. “He’s just an avid Chiefs fan.”

— Brett Clarkson

3:51 p.m.

Love to the fans

This time, the crowd on the south Strip was wearing cheese heads. That was because another pro-footballer who spoke to fans Saturday was Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers quarterback.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love at an appearancve on the Strip on Saturday, Feb. 10, ...
Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love at an appearance on the Strip on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (Alan Halaly/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Love, who has been in Las Vegas for a few days meeting with football fans, said he looks up to both of the team’s quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes and Brock Purdy.

Still, after losing to the 49ers this season, Love said he’d like to see the Chiefs win on Sunday.

“Obviously, I don’t want to see the 49ers win,” he said, prompting laughter from fans. “It’s too fresh in my mind. I got the Chiefs this week.”

— Alan Halaly

3:45 p.m.

Activists vying for crowd’s attention

A number of groups are stationed along the Strip hoping to capture the attention of tourists. Near The Mirage, PETA had inflatable baby caricatures with a sign that read, “Milk is for babies! Dump dairy.” Not far away, people wearing matching shirts handed out pamphlets produced by the Foundation for a Drug-Free World.

— Julie Wootton-Greener

3:40 p.m.

This fan bought Super Bowl ticket six months ago

Airport shuttle buses seem to bring people together – even rival fans.

Sam Baudo, wearing a Chiefs hat, and Maronita “Missie” Isaac, wearing a 49ers shirt with a 49ers hat attached to her backpack, bantered on their way to the Harry Reid International Airport Rent-a-Car Center shuttle bus after arriving at the airport from St. Louis and San Jose, respectively.

Baudo and his travel partner, Duke Meyer, have tickets to Sunday’s game.

“I got them six month ago,”Meyer said, “and they’re probably worth a lot more now.”

No doubt about that.

Secondary ticket marketer TicketIQ lists tickets in the section where Meyer and Baudo are sitting at more than $10,000, a $4,000 markup from the original price.

But they have no intention of selling.

“The Chiefs are our team and we knew they were going to be here,” Meyer said.

Asked if he had any allegiance to the Los Angeles Rams, who relocated from St. Louis in 2016, he replied, “The Lambs? Naw, the Chiefs are my team now.”

Isaac is a 49ers loyalist who works as a bartender during San Francisco home games at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

– Richard N. Velotta

3:30 p.m.

Treasure Island sports book ‘busy, busy, busy and more busy’

If Taylor Swift is bringing more fans to the NFL via her relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, Tony Nevill, the director of race and sports operations at Treasure Island, said he’s all for it.

“Anything that helps to bring other people into the game of football and the possibility of wagering on football, anything that increases the fan size and helps to maintain the integrity of the game, I’m all for that,” he said.

Nevill, who described Saturday so far as “busy, busy, busy and more busy,” said they just had their biggest bet come into the books for Super Bowl 58, $25,000 for the San Francisco 49ers to win it all.

“He said, ‘Tony, I bet the 49ers because I heard your power rankings have the Chiefs favored to win by one and a half.’ And I thought that was the ultimate slap in the face, all good intentions of course,” he said with a laugh.

— Patrick Blennerhassett

3 p.m.

Record for sports betting

Super Bowl 58 is expected to set a record for sports betting, with an estimated 68 million Americans expected to put bets down, according to the American Gaming Association. That’s a 35 percent increase from last year. A combined $23.1 billion is expected to be bet.

Besides betting on the game, there are a number of unusual prop bets that can be made, including what color the Gatorade that gets poured over the winning coach’s head will be; the game ending in a “Scorigame,” a score never seen before; and everything Taylor Swift, from the color of her lipstick, if she will mouth a curse word, to if she will cry if the Chiefs lose.

— Patrick Blennerhassett

2:48 p.m.

‘Experience’ popularity soaring

The Super Bowl Experience event at Mandalay Bay is way busier than what it has been during the week. By mid-afternoon, there was a huge logjam of hundreds of people coming out of, and heading into, the Experience, which the NFL describes on its website as a “football theme park” and the “ultimate Super Bowl Week event with fun for all ages.”

Football fans in the line said they had been slowly moving from the convention center toward the hotel’s exits for 20 minutes. Every so often, cheers for each of the Super Bowl teams broke out in the crowd.

— Brett Clarkson

2:45 pm

Fighting against human trafficking

On the bridge on Russell Road overlooking Allegiant Stadium, Rachelle Star, 40, of Louisville, Kentucky, and John Nappo, 61, of Raleigh, North Carolina, talked about the issue that bought them to the Super Bowl— human trafficking.

They are members of an anti-trafficking group that condemns the practice in Super Bowl host cites. Both mentioned their strong religious faith in a city known for its ungodly ways.

“There’s plenty of sin here,” Star said.

“The strip clubs,” Nappo said with a laugh.

But both said that in the meantime, they are hoping for the Chiefs to win when they go to a watch party at a private home here on Sunday.

“I’m a Mahomie,” said Star, using a fan nickname for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. “I expect a world breaking game for Mahomes.”

Nappo said he favors the Chiefs but both teams “have got a lot of weapons,” including he said the 49ers’ running back Christian McCaffrey.

— Jeff Burbank

2:45 p.m.

CBS Sports takes over Bellagio exterior

There’s a large CBS Sports presence in front of the Bellagio, including stages and a portable building with metal barriers surrounding them and a Super Bowl sculpture in the fountains. Posted signs notify those passing by that filming is underway, reading “You are being recorded.” Street preachers are nearby with large signs.

-Julie Wootton-Greener

2:25 p.m.

Cheetos wedding

They didn’t say, “I do,” at the traditional Vegas wedding chapel. But Las Vegas residents Kahina Parrish and Jon Anderson did something of the sort, wearing bedazzled orange formal wear at the massive, spotted “Cheetos Chapel” with their mock wedding officiated by brand mascot Chester Cheetah.

Las Vegas residents Kahina Parrish and Jon Anderson do a mock wedding at the “Cheetos Chapel” on the Brooklyn Bridge in front of the New York-New York on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (Alan Halaly/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The attraction, part of “The Chip Strip” sponsored by Cheetos, Lays and Doritos, is impossible to miss on the south Strip this weekend.

It was the start to an eventful weekend for the couple, staying nearby on the Strip. When asked who they were rooting for tomorrow, Parrish said: “Usher.”

— Alan Halaly

2:20 p.m.

Houston Texans’ superfan gets trip to big game

Steve Beckholt was named 2023 Fan of the Year by his hometown team, the Houston Texans.

Because of that honor, Beckholt, 48, will be at the game on Sunday.

“It’s my first Super Bowl, it’s my first time to Vegas,” said Beckholt. “It’s been exactly what I expected it to be.”

Beckholt, who was wearing face paint (Texans colors: red, white and blue) inspired by late pro wrestling legend The Ultimate Warrior, was taking in the sights at the NFL’s Super Bowl Experience at Mandalay Bay on Saturday.

Being a superfan isn’t just about getting out to all the games. Beckholt, a season ticket holder, said he hasn’t missed a Texans’ home game since 2007.

But in addition to getting out to Texans’ home games, Beckholt also raises money for the Marfan Foundation.

The foundation raises awareness of and money for research for Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that Beckholt’s son, now 19, was diagnosed with when he was 4.

“Over the past nine years, it’s been over $300,000,” Beckholt said of the amount of money he’s raised.

— Brett Clarkson

2:20 p.m.

Hundreds of bicyclists

Traffic is still very busy on the Strip and its sidewalks, not only for vehicles and pedestrians but also bikers. A group of about 200 on bicycles turned left onto the Strip at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard.

Many cars honked their horns at the group, which was followed by about four Las Vegas Metro patrol vehicles which had their lights on but not sirens.

— Sean Hemmersmeier

2:12 p.m.

A Taylor Swift betting love story

You have to hand it to DraftKings, they know what the fans want. The online sports betting company has named some of its prop bets after Taylor Swift songs, and they are brilliant gems.

There’s “Anti-Hero” for Brock Purdy, the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers getting 250+ passing yards and 2+ passing TDs. +200

“Fifteen” is for the prop bet that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes — who wears number 15 — gets 15+ rushing yards, 3+ passing TDs and 49ers to win. -140

How about “Love Story,” for the Chiefs to win, Mahomes and Travis Kelce to combine for all of the Chiefs’ TDs. +2000

Finally, there is “How You Get the Girl,” which pays out if Kelce of the Chiefs scores a TD in each half. +950

-Patrick Blennerhassett

2 p.m.

Private jet operations up 73 percent

Flights arriving at Harry Reid International Airport Saturday aren’t just the commercial airliners arriving at Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.

On the west side of the airport are the private terminals and the fixed-base operators that accommodate hundreds of planes arriving from all corners of the world for the Super Bowl.

Australia-based Flight Centre Travel Group, which monitors and supports private aircraft, reported this week that between Wednesday and Sunday, private aircraft operations to Reid Airport were projected to be 875 percent higher than it was a year ago – no surprise, since this year Las Vegas hosted the big game, but in Februarys past, Las Vegas has been a popular second choice to view the game.

Flight Centre also said private jet operations to Las Vegas this week are 73 percent higher than they were at the major secondary airports in the Phoenix area.

The city of Phoenix oversees four public airports – Sky Harbor International, the primary commercial airport, with mostly general aviation flying at airports in Deer Valley in north Phoenix, Goodyear in the southwest and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in the southeast.

In Southern Nevada, some private pilots are flying in to Reid, but others are going to Henderson Executive Airport, North Las Vegas Airport and Boulder City Municipal Airport. Local airport officials expect around 400 planes will park at local airports and many more will stop, drop off passengers, then fly to park elsewhere.

Flight Centre said most of the private air traffic is coming from Chicago followed by New York/New Jersey, Denver, Dallas and Los Angeles. The Super Bowl has international appeal and Flight Centre says the top international origin cities are Mexico City, Toronto and London.

The big game is of course an international affair as well – the top international origin cities include Mexico City, Toronto, and London.

– Richard N. Velotta

1:45 p.m.

Stars set to arrive

Stars are expected to begin arriving at 2 p.m. at Marquee Dayclub, located in the Cosmopolitan, for one of, if not the, most anticipated Super Bowl weekend parties, Fanatics owner Michael Rubin’s annual bash.

A who’s who of stars from sports, music and entertainment are planned to walk the blue carpet as they arrive for the afternoon bash.

Last year’s party in Arizona saw the likes of Drake, Travis Scott, Paul Rudd, Shaquille O’Neal and Joe Burrow, with reports of over 2,000 people being turned away.

-Mick Akers

1:43 p.m.

Passing the hat in a different way

David Olschewski, 59, of Salt Lake City, is a Kansas City Chiefs fan. He was asked which team he expects to win on Sunday.

“49ers!” he said. “No, just kidding. No, the Chiefs will do it. Mahomes will make it happen.” Olschewski was carrying a straw Chiefs hat with about 30 signatures on it at the Super Bowl Experience at Mandalay Bay. The signatures weren’t from football players or celebrities, but from regular people Olschewski has met while in Las Vegas during Super Bowl Week, he said. The hat will be a gift for a family friend in Utah who is a cancer survivor who also has Down Syndrome.

“He’s going to love it,” Olschewski said. “He’s just an avid Chiefs fan.”

—Brett Clarkson

1:40 p.m.

‘We don’t have money like that’

Samantha Gomez was among a group of visitors from El Paso, Texas, who were wearing 49ers jerseys. They waited in line to get their picture taken at a Super Bowl photo backdrop near Caesars Palace.

The group arrived Friday and plans to leave Monday.

Gomez said they’re in Las Vegas for the Super Bowl weekend festivities, but aren’t going to the big game.

“We don’t have money like that,” she said.

They’re planning to go to a Super Bowl party on Sunday at the MGM.

-Julie Wootton-Greener

1:40 p.m.

‘Worst loss of my life’

Outside of the Field of Dreams sports memorabilia store in Forum Shops at Caesars Palace there is a line of about 30 people to get an autograph from NFL hall of fame running back and former Detroit Lion Barry Sanders.

One Michigan couple, Ted and Lana Fattal, got a picture of Sanders autographed and they said it was “fantastic” to talk with Sanders. The couple traveled from Owosso, Michigan to be in Las Vegas for Super Bowl weekend since they hoped the Lions would make it.

“We thought nine months ago the Lions had a shot at making the Super Bowl, so we bought tickets and they were just one half away from being here,” Ted Fattal said. “And it was the worse loss of my life.”

Even though the Lions didn’t get into the Super Bowl, the Fattals still decided to travel to Las Vegas for the weekend since Lana had never been and to take in the city and the festivities.

“It’s been a fun experience overall,” Lana Fattal said.

-Sean Hemmersmeier

1:30 pm

New law not being enforced

Signs warning of the county’s new ordinance banning stopping and standing on Strip pedestrian bridges have been posted near the elevators doors or columns on the top level of many bridges. It did not appear that signs had been posted to warn pedestrians that the ban extends to a 20-foot radius around connecting stairways, elevators or escalators.

Signs warning of the county’s new ordinance banning stopping and standing on Strip pedestrian ...
Signs warning of the county’s new ordinance banning stopping and standing on Strip pedestrian bridges on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (Taylor Avery/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

But it doesn’t appear the ban is being enforced yet. Many individuals stopped to take photos of the busy Strip. Street performers and people asking for money were present at many of the bridges as of early Saturday afternoon.

One of those people was Jacob Allree, who was seated with a cardboard sign on a bridge located near the north end of the Strip. Allree said he’d been warned by cops four or five days ago of the ordinance but hadn’t seen any cops on Saturday. When asked if was expecting to see cops enforcing the ordinance, he said he “hoped not.”

-Taylor Avery

1:28 p.m.

‘Usher, all day’

Terra Lamar, 21, of Atlanta, Georgia, had a bold prediction for the game. “I’m not a football person, I’m just there for the halftime show,” Lamar said at the Super Bowl Experience at Mandalay Bay. “If you ask me who’s gonna win, it’s going to be Usher, all day.”

Lamar works as an assistant program coordinator for Usher’s New Look, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was started by the R&B superstar.

The charity assists under-resourced students and develops leaders and has so far served over 50,000 youth, according to Lamar and the charity’s website.

Lamar was in Las Vegas with a group of colleagues to show support for Usher while also getting the word out about the organization.

Lamar, who counted Rihanna’s and Dr. Dre’s performances as the best Super Bowl halftime shows, said Usher will bring it on Sunday.

“It’s going to be the best performance in Super Bowl history,” Lamar said.

— Brett Clarkson

1:10 p.m.

Glimpses of the Sphere

Some visitors are stopping on the pedestrian bridge over South Las Vegas Boulevard to The Palazzo hoping to catch a glimpse of the Sphere. A man is sitting nearby blasting music through a speaker system.

-Julie Wootton-Greener

1:05 p.m.

Sea of red for Jerry Rice

Addressing a sea of red 49ers jerseys outside the New York-New York resort, retired wide receiver Jerry Rice talked about his career from Mississippi Valley State University to the hall of fame.

Rice emphasized the power of hard work. It’s the intense training and dedication football requires that led him to three career Super Bowl wins.

Retired wide receiver Jerry Rice talked about his career from Mississippi Valley State Universi ...
Retired wide receiver Jerry Rice talked about his career from Mississippi Valley State University to the Hall of Fame outside the New York-New York Hotel and Casino on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (Alan Halaly/Las Vegas Review-Journal.

A win for San Francisco is imminent, Rice said.

“No. 6 is going to happen tomorrow,” he said, as the audience chanted “G.O.A.T.,” short for greatest of all time. “This is it, baby — this is why we play the game.”

-Alan Halaly

1 p.m.

Chiefs super fan

At Mandalay Bay, hundreds of football fans made their way to the Super Bowl Experience in the hotel’s convention center.

The Experience, a fan fest full of all things pro football, has been running since Wednesday, but Saturday was significantly busier than the weekdays.

Don Lobmeyer, a Chiefs super fan from Woodstock, Kansas, was turning heads and posing for photos with his costume, which consisted of an inflatable dragon, a headpiece full of spikes, and a Patrick Mahomes jersey that says “MA HO HO HOMES” on the back.

Don Lobmeyer, of Woodstock, Kansas, shows off his Kansas City Chiefs costume at Mandalay Bay in ...
Don Lobmeyer, of Woodstock, Kansas, shows off his Kansas City Chiefs costume at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on Feb. 10, 2024. (Brett Clarkson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Asked if he was going to the game on Sunday, Lobmeyer said he was not. In addition to tickets being too expensive, he didn’t want to cause a scene.

“I would be more of a distraction at the game than Taylor Swift if I was wearing this up there,” he said.

– Brett Clarkson

12:45 p.m.

Upbeat Strip activity

The central Las Vegas Strip is very active with plenty of pedestrians walking past street performers and preachers. The energy is upbeat despite the windy weather.

There are three different lines to get into the Expedition Vegas fan activation experience in front of the Mirage. Each line has dozens of fans waiting to get in and probably around 150 to 200 people waiting to get into Expedition Vegas.

– Sean Hemmersmeier

12:30 p.m.

Who’s gonna win?

John Murray, the executive director of Race and Sports Book Operations at the Westgate’s Superbook said the foot traffic today has been heavier than usual, not just because of the Super Bowl but because of the LIV Golf event at the Las Vegas Country Club.

He said it’s been an interesting weekend as many of the Westgate’s regular VIPs who come for big games are all going to the big game tomorrow, so he’s not sure who will be in the seats at the Westgate’s Superbook.

Murray said it’s all hands on deck all weekend as he will be staying the night Saturday in a room at the Westgate, then hitting the floor tomorrow morning around 8 a.m. So, who is he picking for tomorrow?

“It’s tough because I have done a number of interviews where I have said I’ve seen a lot of our more respected betters taking San Francisco,” he said.

According to DraftKings, the San Francisco 49ers are the favorites to win the Super Bowl at -120 odds over the Kansas City Chiefs, who are two-point underdogs.

“But the public players are mostly on Kansas City, but we saw a lot of our private guys taking Baltimore and public guys taking Kansas City (during the AFC championship) and we all saw what happened there. So a lot of our respected betters are on the 49ers but they did the same thing 13 days ago (taking the favorite in the Baltimore Ravens vs. Chiefs game) and it went up in smoke, so we will see what happens tomorrow.”

-Patrick Blennerhassett

12:15 p.m.

Super Bowl surprises local newlyweds

Las Vegas residents Max and Maya Corisier see a lot of parallels between themselves and faked fictional couple Ross and Rachel from the TV show “Friends.” So it only made sense to get married at Little White Wedding Chapel, where their fictional counterparts also tied the knot.

It’s like a series finale for the couple that’s been together for more than a decade and their friend group. Many are soon moving out of town, expecting children and beginning new chapters.

“We did it this weekend because there’s a lot of change going on in our lives and we wanted to celebrate,” Max Corisier said.

“We didn’t realize it was Super Bowl weekend until we saw how hard it was to get everything,” Maya Corisier said.

The couple and their wedding party of about 15 people said they will celebrate with brunch at La Neta in Summerlin.

-McKenna Ross

12:05 p.m.

‘Super excited’ for the Super Bowl

All through the airport are people in long-sleeved purple shirts welcoming airport arrivals to Las Vegas.

They’re volunteers working with the Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee and many of them carry around a Nevada-shaped picture frame and a prop football, offering to take passers-by’s pictures commemorating their arrival.

“This is my fourth Super Bowl,” said Cheryl Anderson, one of about 70 from the Minneapolis area to volunteer.

“Everybody is super excited,” added Las Vegas volunteer Stephen Harenza.

He said every Super Bowl host committee has its own theme color and it often features a color from one of the competing teams. “I think someone thought the Ravens were going to be here,” he said.

Volunteers pass out Super Bowl Host Committee stickers that feature a Las Vegas logo and the profiles of some of the city’s iconic buildings. On the reverse side of the sticker is a QR code that, when downloaded, lists some of the many Super Bowl-related activities around town.

-Richard N. Velotta

12 p.m.

‘Engage the community’

Families mingled with players, cheerleaders and mascots Saturday morning during the NFL Play Football Family Festival at Desert Oasis High School.

“It’s a way to continue to just engage the community,” said Roman Oben, a 12-year NFL veteran and the league’s vice-president of football development.

Families mingled with players, cheerleaders and mascots Saturday morning during the NFL Play Fo ...
Families mingled with players, cheerleaders and mascots Saturday morning during the NFL Play Football Family Festival at Desert Oasis High School on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (Christopher Lawrence/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Events like this one, he said, are designed to bring the game to families who may not make it to the Strip for other Super Bowl-related events, as well as those who may never make it to a game in person.

Students could perform drills and participate in coaching clinics. Players including Washington’s Jahan Dotson, Arizona’s Trey McBride and Carolina’s Jeremy Chinn signed autographs. Raiderettes and Raider Rusher posed for photos. And mascots Sourdough Sam and KC Wolf interacted with fans while cheerleaders from the 49ers and Chiefs gave fans a preview of their Super Bowl performances.

-Christopher Lawrence

11:35 a.m.

Taking in the views

The festivities are just beginning and traffic isn’t heavy on the south side of the Strip as people make their way in and out of resorts and shopping areas.

Decked out in both Chiefs and 49ers gear, people are still stopping to take in the views from pedestrian bridges despite a county ordinance that says blocking foot traffic could result in a misdemeanor.

-Alan Halaly

11:30 a.m.

Wedding rings and Super Bowl rings

Little White Wedding Chapel was steadily booked with couples Saturday, some taking advantage of the Super Bowl to get their own rings.

Michigan residents Keri and Jimmy, who declined to share their last names because the elopement wasn’t known to their children yet, waited for their ceremony at the popular celebrity chapel. The couple has been engaged since September and considered a more traditional ceremony but decided to take advantage of their Super Bowl-related weekend vacation to wed.

“We decided it’s just about us,” Keri said.

The newly married couple said they will celebrate with dinner at Aria and the Luke Combs performance during the BetMGM Big Game Bash at The Cosmopolitan tonight.

-McKenna Ross

11:12 a.m.

No signs of price surging

It isn’t too busy yet at Harry Reid International Airport’s baggage claim carousels as arrivals continue to roll in.

The same could not be said for the ride-hailing pickup zone which had close to 100 waiting for their rides on Uber and Lyft.

So far, no sign of price surging.

Depending on the level of ser vice chosen on Uber, a ride to the center Strip would cost between $21.13 and $41.97 at this time.

Many arrivals at the Las Vegas airport are wearing their Chiefs and 49ers gear.

– Richard N. Velotta

11 a.m.

‘Free pictures, beautiful backdrop’

Volunteers wearing purple Las Vegas Super Bowl LVIII Host Committee shirts are stationed along the Strip handing out free stickers.

A Super Bowl-themed photo backdrop is set up in front of fountains at Caesars Palace.

“Free pictures over here,” a volunteer told tourists. “Beautiful backdrop.”

Las Vegas resident Abel Pina was among the volunteers.

Pina, who has lived in Las Vegas for 11 years and is originally from Portugal, was volunteering for a third day. He was filling an 8 a.m. to noon shift.

On Sunday, he’s working a paid gig at an event near Allegiant Stadium.

Pina said he was handing out stickers Saturday and “promoting our city.”

He said he has interacted with people from as far away as Germany and Scotland “and they just came for the game.”

-Julie Wootton-Greener

10:30 a.m.

Calm before the kickoff – for now

Pedestrian and vehicle traffic is light on the Strip near Treasure Island. Visitors are bundled up and walking briskly as a bitterly cold wind blows, except for one jogger wearing shorts. There are many open parking spots at the Fashion Show Mall.

-Julie Wootton-Greener

10 a.m.

What’s the over-under on TSA screenings?

The last few fans in town for Super Bowl 58 are trickling in to Harry Reid International Airport on Saturday and Sunday morning.

Also trickling in – Transportation Security Administration agents from more than 20 airports from around the country who will support TSA’s local crew to keep every lane and every checkpoint open for 48 straight hours once the game ends.

Traffic flow through the airport is going to be a lot like going to the game. Arrivals are pretty spread out, with teams, game officials, pregame and halftime performers, concessionnaires and the media arriving at a gradual pace on game day.

But when it’s over, everybody is trying to get out at once.

The TSA is anticipating 118,000 departing passengers and crew will flow through security lines. If accurate, Monday has the potential of beating the Reid daily record for screenings, 103,499 on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023. That weekend concluded several Halloween-themed events and was a three-day Nevada Day weekend.

– Richard N. Velotta

9:18 a.m.

Clear skies ahead in Vegas

After a week of rain and snow, including nearly 100 inches at Lee Canyon, the Las Vegas sky should be clear for Super Bowl weekend.

Saturday was clearing after early morning showers. A high near 52 is forecast. There could be afternoon breezes to 22 mph.

Sunday should be clear with a high near 54. Winds will be mostly calm.

— Marvin Clemons

8:45 a.m.

A good day to fly to Vegas

It looks like it’s going to be a good day for flying into Harry Reid International Airport today.

FlightAware, which tracks aircraft movement worldwide, listed 22 flight delays and no cancellations at Las Vegas’ airport as of 8:45 a.m.

Delays or cancellations usually occur as a result of weather or air traffic control snags around the country.

On FlightAware’s “misery map” showing the top U.S. airports for delays and cancellations, Kansas City International Airport was all clear, but San Francisco International and the two nearby airports in Oakland and San Jose had eight delays this morning.

The most delayed airport between 6 and 10 a.m., local time, today: Denver International, with 29 delays. Nationwide, there were 854 delays and 21 cancellations for flights within, into or out of every U.S. airport.

– Richard N. Velotta

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