It’s Game Day: Super Bowl fever spikes in Philly
Fans are being encouraged to cheer ‘safely and responsibly,’ as the Eagles take on the Chiefs
Philadelphians cheer on the Eagles ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl in Arizona (Philadelphia Tribune photo).
By Alec Larson
PHILADELPHIA — As Super Bowl LVII approaches this Sunday, all across Philadelphia residents and city officials alike have been struck by “EAGLES MANIA,” an affliction that can only be described with the words: “It’s a Philly thing.”
“The Eagles’ road to Super Bowl LVII fills us with hope, pride and joy. With the team and management already in Arizona for the big game, we want to encourage fans to cheer on safely and responsibly as we send them some brotherly love from home,” Mayor Jim Kenney said.
Also, as Philadelphia gears up for the big game, some politicians are trying to get in on the hype by making wagers with their colleagues across the country.
U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, D-3rd District, announced earlier this week that he has made a Super Bowl bet with his colleague who represents Kansas City, U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, D-Mo.
“I’m looking forward to enjoying some Kansas City barbecue courtesy of my friend and colleague after the Eagles win! In the unlikely event that things would go the other way, I would deliver some Philadelphia cheesesteaks to him,” Evans said. “My colleague is from the ‘Show Me State,’ and I can’t wait for him to show me the barbecue!”
Sheryl Lee Ralph will lend her powerful vocals as a Super Bowl pregame performer this weekend.
She will sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”https://t.co/gf9K3XWXhl
— The Philadelphia Inquirer (@PhillyInquirer) February 10, 2023
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro has also decided to take part in a friendly wager between colleagues, announcing that he has bets with Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson and Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly.
Ahead of the game, Shapiro and Parson will be exchanging Eagles and Chiefs flags, with the losing governor having to hang his rival team’s flag in his office next week.
“Like millions of Pennsylvanians, Lori and I are excited to cheer on the Philadelphia Eagles and watch them bring the Lombardi Trophy back to the Commonwealth,” Shapiro said. “Pennsylvania is home to the greatest small businesses in the country — and while I love to share the best Pennsylvania has to offer with my friends in other states, the Eagles have been so good this season that I’m willing to double down on a win this week. Go Birds!”
Additionally, as part of Shapiro and Kelly’s bet, the losing governor will send the winning governor local foods from their state so that “they can enjoy the taste of victory themselves.”
If Shapiro loses, he will be sending Kelly an assortment of food from small businesses in Pennsylvania, including soft pretzels from Philly Style Soft Pretzel Bakery in Levittown, cheesesteaks from Tony Luke’s in South Philadelphia, and Eagles Mini Donuts from Collegeville Italian Bakery in Montgomery County.
Throughout Sunday, the city is set to send “law-enforcement support, traffic control, and emergency medical services” to key areas of Philadelphia for public safety.
Additionally, the Philadelphia Police Department will be evaluating additional protocols for the game that could include greasing poles as well as “measures to reduce the risk of injury and public property damage.”
“As the City of Philadelphia prepares to cheer on our Eagles, the Philadelphia Police Department, along with other city, local, state, and federal agencies will be on hand to ensure that fans are able to celebrate safely. We are looking forward to another great Eagles game. Go Birds!” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.
As far as parking restrictions, residents and businesses are already beginning to see “Temporary No Parking Signs” posted along the South Broad Street corridor and near City Hall. At noon Sunday, the “No Parking Zone” will go into effect and vehicles found parked in these locations during the noted hours could be relocated.
Following the conclusion of Sunday’s game, there will be temporary traffic closures put in place around City Hall and nearby Center City routes between 11th and 20th streets and Spring Garden and Locust streets. Additionally, both the east and west routes off of the 676 ramp at Broad Street will be temporarily closed. There are also expected to be temporary SEPTA route detours put in place at the game’s conclusion.
The city said in a statement to The Philadelphia Tribune that it is still identifying key measures to be put in place should the Eagles potentially win the Super Bowl.
“The city is very excited for our NFC Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, as they make their way to Arizona for Super Bowl LVII. As it was for the NFC Championship game, the city’s main focus is public safety and putting those efforts into place ahead of Super Bowl Weekend,” the statement reads. “There are public safety plans that are being developed in the event of the Eagles potentially winning the Super Bowl, which include the possibility of temporary road closures, impacts to public transit, and measures to reduce the risk of injury and public property damage.”
Looking forward to the Monday following the Super Bowl, the School District of Philadelphia along with other school districts have already planned to delay classes, including: Wissahickon School District, Upper Merion School District and Radnor School District.”
As for the state of affairs for Chiefs fans in Philadelphia, Kansas City faithful have lost their one bastion in the city as Chief’s bar Big Charlie’s Saloon has announced that it will be closing for the big game following an overwhelming response to the establishment’s opening of ticket sales for the event.
“It saddens me to say we will not be hosting the Super Bowl this year, we sold tickets very fast and had to turn our patrons away. So we don’t want to do that, we can’t accommodate everyone so we will just close for the night. I’m sorry again. Go Chiefs!” said the bar on Twitter.
Alec Larson is a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this story first appeared.
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