SANTA CLARA (BCN) — Thousands made their way to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara today with the golden ticket to Super Bowl 50 to watch the highly anticipated game between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.
Zach and Christina Ziccurdi, 32 and 31, of Denver, took a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light-rail train from downtown Mountain View to the stadium.
The married couple, who are rooting for the Broncos, bought their tickets through a Denver broker who sold the seats from a season ticket holder who won them in a lottery.
Zach Ziccurdi said they were thankful and blessed to attend the Super Bowl and expect a “fantastic” game between the teams.
He expects the Broncos to win 20-16 and his wife estimated their home team would take the game 23-16.
“If our defense shows up and there’s no turnovers we’ll win,” Christina Ziccurdi said, adding it may be Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s final game.
“Hopefully we get to see Peyton go out on top,” she said.Joesel Varner and her fiancé Reuben Auruvila were covered head to toe in Broncos gear topped off with orange and blue wigs.
The couple met at last year’s Super Bowl through mutual friends and later became engaged.
“The Broncos made us fall in love,” Varner said.Phillip Goudeaux, of Sacramento, is supporting the Broncos at today’s game but his friend Kelvin Morgan, of Fresno, is supporting the Panthers.
“I’m rooting for the old man versus the young man,” Goudeaux said, referring to his preference for Manning over Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
Morgan defended Newton over Manning.”He is sometimes perceived as being arrogant but he’s not. He’s just a great competitor,” Morgan said.
Bill Charles and Andy Mitchell, both from Toronto, Canada, were going to the game as an early celebration for their 50th birthdays.”This is our 50th birthday present to ourselves,” Charles said.
“This is our 50th birthday present to ourselves,” Charles said. Charles and Mitchell have been friends since sixth grade and plan to attend future Super Bowls together as an annual tradition.
Donna Mendenhill, 50, and her friend stood outside the stadium in their Panthers jerseys and managed to buy two tickets for $2,500 each outside the stadium less than an hour before the game.
“We came out here on a hope and a prayer,” Mendenhill said.If they didn’t manage to find tickets, they planned to watch the game across the street at a Hyatt Regency hotel.
Mendenhill and her friend live about an hour away from Charlotte, North Carolina, and had another eight friends who already bought tickets in advance.
A large police presence was seen around the stadium including uniformed officers walking around, riding on horses, driving in motorcycles, parked in military vehicles and with K-9 units.
Dozens of people were outside the stadium scalping for tickets. Many were also selling various items including T-shirts, hats, lanyards, flower crowns and even Girl Scout cookies.