Action picking up as kickoff approaches

February, 1, 2009
2/01/09
2:22
PM ET
 
  Matt Cashore/US Presswire
  Cardinals and Steelers fans arrived early to Raymond James Stadium.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Super Bowl atmosphere picked up dramatically Saturday as fans and partygoers lined some streets and packed hotel lobbies.

The limousine driver I chatted with outside the downtown Hyatt Hotel confirmed the dramatic increase in late-week action. He said business was horrible early in the week. He charges $200 an hour during Super Bowl week, up from $125 an hour normally. His company owns three stretch Escalades, each about $150,000 in value and nearly 15,000 pounds in weight.

I arrived at Raymond James Stadium within the last hour or so. If someone told me Steelers fans outnumbered Cardinals fans 10 to 1, I wouldn't argue. Three Cardinals fans did stand out. Each wore a white hard hat with an imitation cardinal leaving its mark on a Terrible Towel, which was draped over a faux steel girder. Not bad.

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