You know a major event is afoot when Midtown streets are jammed with cars and droves of ride-share drivers are confused on a Saturday night—er, make that 2:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
You know it’s the Super Bowl when, for instance, actor Danny Trejo is clad in Los Angeles Rams attire and shouting, “Go Rams!” from the back of an SUV to whooping fans on Marietta Street. Or when Patriots fans packed 10 deep on the patio of Fado Irish Pub on Peachtree Street are hollering, “Matt Ryan’s a bum!” at a cyclist wearing a Falcons jersey.
Atlantans who braved the onslaught of the city’s first Super Bowl in 19 years surely witnessed at least a few similar spectacles this past weekend. The Big Game brought a supercharged mix of commerce, bacchanalia, gridiron testosterone, and of course Atlanta pride—evidenced most noticeably by the ubiquitous, relentlessly cheerful Host Committee volunteers.
But aside from constant downtown gridlock, a handful of celebrity arrests, and a too-brief Big Boi halftime show performance, no major snags were reported across more than a week of festivities, with the world watching. And plenty of locals were savvy enough to profit from the influx.
Which begs the questions: How did Atlanta perform on the biggest stage in major American sports? Was the hassle—and millions in public money spent—worth it? Should we be hustling to do it all again ASAP? (Super Bowl locations have been determined through 2024, and they include competing cities: Miami, Tampa, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and New Orleans, respectively.)
That’s the topic for this installment of Open Threads. Feel free, as always, to sound off in the comments section.
But first, a few observations from the wild weekend that was ...