GLENDALE, Arizona (Reuters) - Clear blue skies, a party atmosphere and tight security greeted fans of the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks arriving at University of Phoenix Stadium hours before the Sunday’s Super Bowl.
A sea of navy, green and grey Seahawks jerseys mixed with the blue, white and red Patriots colors outside the gleaming silver shell and space-age-looking stadium that will host the National Football League’s championship game.
Massive stages dotted the area outside the stadium, where those in attendance were able to soak up a pre-game atmosphere that includes free concerts and cold drinks after navigating the traffic-lined streets around the venue.
Fans were also lining up to take advantage of an opportunity to have photos taken with the NFL’s championship Vince Lombardi Trophy and get free tattoos as temperatures remained steady around 57 degrees Fahrenheit (13 C).
Before entering the 72,000-seat stadium, where an open roof was allowing sunshine to pour onto the field, people were being put through metal detectors, a pat down and getting bags X-rayed. Photos of the security process, which included bomb-sniffing dogs, are forbidden.
The Patriots, led by three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady, are one-point favorites to beat the defending champion Seahawks, who have Russell Wilson under center.
Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. ET (2330 GMT).
Editing by Steve Keating