- POSTED: 28 Jan 2014 17:05
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New York City is preparing for the world's biggest annual sporting event - the Super Bowl.
NEW YORK: After waiting for almost half a century, the Super Bowl has finally arrived in New York.
This year, the biggest game in the American Football calendar is being hosted just across the river in New Jersey, with the two states spending $70 million to make it the most expensive Super Bowl ever.
And the man in charge of organising the NFL's season-ending game has high hopes.
Al Kelly, President & CEO of New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee, said: "This is a tremendous opportunity for the region. The spotlight of the world will be on the region for five or six days and that's the great thing about a Super Bowl - it's much more than a three-and-a-half hour football game.
"It is really a week-long celebration that brings the world's eyes on the region that gets to host it. And in this case in 2014, that will be the New York/New Jersey area."
The two NFL teams that call this area home won't be playing in the game but as one of the most watched sporting events in the world, the Super Bowl has plenty for residents of New York and New Jersey to look forward to.
Mr Kelly explained: "The Super Bowl is a great platform for many things and one of those is the economic benefit it brings to the region. We estimate between $500 and 600 million of impact (on jobs, taxes and small business revenue) in the New York/New Jersey region.
"The reality is that it actually happens at a time of year that's a little bit slower in this region so it's a great boost for the region at that time of year."
Local businesses are looking forward to a slice of the economic benefit.
Shaun Clancy, owner of a popular sports bar - Foley's New York - in downtown New York, moved to the city from his native Ireland 10 years ago.
He believes the Super Bowl is without equal.
"It's the one sporting event that attracts non-sports fans. People want to be with other people to watch the Super Bowl, whether it be to watch the commercials, to watch the half-time show, to watch the beforehand.
"There's so much going on and people like to be with other people and there's no better surrounding than a sports bar to watch it," said Clancy.
Just over 82,000 people are lucky enough to have tickets to watch the Super Bowl live at the MetLife Stadium but over 150,000 people are expected to come to New York to experience the unique atmosphere in the host city.
"We are anticipating that the two weeks between who we know is going to be in the Super Bowl and Super Bowl Sunday are going to be very busy. There will be a marked increase in the number of people around," said Clancy.
Clancy is already preparing for what he says will be the busiest week of 2014 for him and his staff and that means having plenty of this to keep his customers happy and his business booming.