Nightly News   |  February 02, 2013

Fans – and police – pack New Orleans for Super Bowl

About 1,500 police officers are fanning across New Orleans ahead of the Super Bowl on Sunday – the city’s first Super Bowl since Hurricane Katrina more than seven years ago. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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>>> been there before and so, too, have the baltimore ravens . football's biggest game. but at this year's contest the real seasoned veteran will be the city of new orleans hosting its tenth super bowl since 1970 . and though the big easy has been through a lot since its last turn hosting the game, it apparently hasn't lost its knack for throwing one heck of a party. nbc's janet shandlian is in new orleans tonight.

>> it has gone smoothly so far. the weather has cooperated but tomorrow is the test. this is an unprecedented security challenge for new orleans . so many people, 150,000, coming to town for this game to a city that's known for its wild celebrations. 24 hours until kickoff and new orleans is packed. not just with football fans .

>> 49ers!

>> woo hoo !

>> reporter: but with police stationed on almost every corner at every intersection. some 1500 law enforcement officers as the city hosts its first super bowl since hurricane katrina more than seven years ago.

>> i am so proud because i'm from here and i just love my city.

>> reporter: this family joined the crowds on a picture perfect day. inside photo opportunities .

>> all right. drew brees , show me how it's done.

>> reporter: a chance to throw like a pro. megan kent and her family traveled from baltimore. their trip to the big easy , the hard way.

>> there's about ten of us. we drove 15 hours to get here. it's just so much fun. we're all having a great time with my family.

>> reporter: it's what organizers want for everyone. from the 73,000 fans who paid an average of $3400 per ticket to those watching from a big screen . while almost everyone has a favorite, football great and new orleans resident archie manning understands why one set of parents aren't taking sides.

>> i kind of feel for the harbaughs there. they are going to have a son that's going to be on the losing side of it, too, and that's hard.

>> reporter: the battle of the brothers. here at the super dome it is already fairly locked down. streets closed. barricades up. metal detectors at the ready in advance of the gates opening here about midday tomorrow. lester?

>> all right. janet, thanks very much.