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Bengals arrive at LAX as Super Bowl week in Los Angleles ramps up

Posted at 4:45 PM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 19:45:49-05

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Super Bowl week ramped up another notch Tuesday when the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals landed at LAX to begin local preparations for their Sunday showdown with the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium.

The Bengals' charter landed around noon, and team members walked to a series of waiting buses for the trip to the team's hotel.

Ironically, the Bengals will be considered the home team at Sunday's Super Bowl, even though they will be taking on the Rams in the L.A. team's home stadium, which is technically considered a "neutral" site for the game. The Rams will be just the second team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium -- following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year.

The Bengals arrived amid rising Southern California temperatures that are expected to continue through the weekend. In fact, Sunday's Super Bowl could set a record for the warmest big-game kickoff. According to the Southeast Regional Climate Center, the warmest Super Bowl kickoff occurred in 1973 -- at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum -- when it was 84 degrees.

The current forecast for Sunday calls for temperatures in the mid to upper 80s.

Super Bowl week officially kicked off Monday, when Los Angeles and Inglewood officials joined with Super Bowl organizers to begin several days worth of pregame events. The mayors of L.A. and Inglewood were on hand at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Monday as the week of pregame hype got underway.

"Inglewood is proud to carry the torch of not only being a Super Bowl host city but the home of two teams in the NFL," Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts said.

He added that the Super Bowl is the first "world class" event hosted at SoFi Stadium -- which opened in 2020 -- but that there will be "many coming."

"SoFi Stadium is now the site of the world's most hyped sports championships, concerts and other performances, setting the standard for what a top tier venue should be," he said. "We expect Super Bowl LVI to further boost Inglewood's reputation as hosts for major events."

Butts and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also highlighted the economic benefits of hosting the Super Bowl, saying it is expected to generate about $500 million for the L.A. region.

"It helps local services and government, it's about $22 million in taxes, it's about $500 million ... that will be spent on our hotels, pay our employees, go to our restaurants, go to our bars. This is something that has a multiplier effect for everybody," Garcetti told reporters after the news conference.

"And these are hard-hit industries -- restaurants barely made it through COVID, but people who have invested or gotten a PPP loan have been waiting for something like this where they can make, you know, as much as a month's profits in a single night."

Garcetti said the NFL will cover overtime costs for law enforcement.

"Obviously Inglewood doesn't have enough officers right there, but together with the LAPD, with our sheriff's department, we're going to have a safe experience and we're going to get those costs reimbursed. NFL is reimbursing our overtime costs," Garcetti said.

The Los Angeles Police Department was scheduled to begin increased deployments on Thursday, Chief Michel Moore told the Police Commission last week.

Garcetti said after the news conference that a Super Bowl win during his last year as mayor would be extra welcomed, as it would mean that the city won every major sports championship available during his nine years as mayor.

"Since I've been mayor, I've been lucky enough, we've got a Stanley Cup, we've got Major League Soccer Championship, we were able to win the WNBA, World Series and an NBA championship," he said.

"All that's left is this Super Bowl, and I'll have been lucky enough while being mayor to win every major sports championship."

Some Rams season-ticket holders gathered for a rally Monday night in Westlake Village. Some coaches and players were on hand for the event, held as part of what was dubbed "Super Bowl Opening Night."

Other NFL-affiliated events in Los Angeles this week includes The Super Bowl Experience, presented by Lowe's. The interactive, football-themed attraction that will fill the halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center welcomed more than 40,000 fans over the weekend, and will be open again on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Fans can get player autographs, take photographs with the Vince Lombardi Trophy and play interactive games. The event will also include sponsor displays and giveaways, youth football clinics and the NFL Shop.