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Welcome to Indianapolis

1/29/2012
The NFL Experience in Indy includes a zip line for fans to get a bird's-eye view. AP Photo/Eric Gay

INDIANAPOLIS -- Some early thoughts from the build-up to Super Bowl XLVI here in Indianapolis:

1. The city has a compact footprint and hotel space is at a premium. Both teams are staying downtown, right in the middle of the action. The Patriots are on the city campus of IUPUI. The Giants are at a hotel right around the corner. Coaches generally prefer to be far away from all the hubbub. There are more pitfalls for players in this type of set-up, but it is great for fans and media.

2. The official NFL media hotel, the JW Marriott, has a huge Lombardi trophy on the outside of it. Powerful image.

3. A large white tent is set up outside of the Patriots team hotel. The heated tent is where individual player interviews will take place.

4. Weather has cooperated for local fans to enjoy some of the festivities around the game. It is about 35 degrees here and there is great energy in the downtown area. It is always a privilege to be part of an event of this magnitude.

5. The Patriots are using the Colts' practice facility and will occupy their locker room at Lucas Oil Stadium. On local TV on Saturday night, Colts linebacker Gary Brackett said it was painful to have the rival Patriots take over their facilities. But Brackett added the Colts have only themselves to blame.