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Crews do finishing touches ahead of Super Bowl crowds

Crews work in a tent erected next to the Superdome on Poydras Street. Crews work in a tent erected next to the Superdome on Poydras Street.

New Orleans, La. - Outside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Wednesday, workers were installing ties on coverings over portable stations where Super Bowl ticket holders will enter along Poydras Street.

At Canal and North Peters, a crew was replacing a decorative light bulb.  And a little ways away on Decatur Street, a new safety sign for pedestrians was being installed.

The finishing touches are happening just hours before thousands of Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers fans are expected to fly into the city.

Just off Decatur Street sits Johnny's Po-Boy's, a spot locals know well and to which tourists are often directed.

"The shrimp is popular, we're known for that one.  The roast beef by itself is really good, muffalettas are really popular," said Lori Beth DeGrusha as she talked to a customer at the cash register.

DeGrusha said their restaurant has stocked up on menu items in anticipation of brisk business starting Thursday, when the iconic Super Bowl Roman numerals arrive on the riverfront to much fanfare, including music and fireworks.

"Lines for days, we hope. We cannot wait, we are so excited to have everyone in town," she said.

National and international news media are already in town, but most of the fans of the two competing teams are expected to begin arriving Thursday for a four-day celebration.

"We're waiting for everybody, bring the army in," DeGrusha stated.

And with so many corporate movers and shakers coming to town this week for all of the Super Bowl festivities, leaders in the local business community are hoping to make some important connections.

"I know that there will be some connections made," said Bob Brown of the Business Council of New Orleans.

He said there are myriad chances to interact with prospective investors and business representatives.  "First of all it's just person-to-person contact that says, 'I do the kind of business that you do, let's get together and talk when we're done.' The other part of it may be some executive who's here with his family, and they look around the city, go to a restaurant, go to a museum and say, 'You know what?  This is a place where our employees could flourish and have a very, very happy life.  Let's come back and take another look,'" Brown said.

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