The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


January 21, 2014

NYC and NJ prep for Super Bowl on calm MLK Monday


Next week is when Broadway turns into a fan fest, concerts happen in all five boroughs — as well as New Jersey, where the game will actually be played — and LeBron James and the Heat take a rare undercard role when they visit Madison Square Garden and the Knicks.

Monday afternoon, though, workers and security guards outnumbered customers.

Imani Williamson tossed a miniature football in the air to herself and beamed at visitors as they entered Macy's. When it gets busier later, her job will be to greet fans, ask where they're from, and make them feel welcome.

Asked if she had seen any crowds yet, the 22-year old ringer on temporary Super Bowl duty said "No, not yet."

Deeper in the store, Julie Maner commanded a well trafficked corner where whimsical, cartoonish Super Bowl posters by pop artist Charles Fazzino were on sale. She has gone to every Super Bowl since the 2003 game in San Diego representing the artist.

Usually, she says, she has a booth at the NFL Experience, a fan expo that has been modified for the New York game. Most of that event's activities will be relocated to Broadway as part of the league's "Super Bowl Boulevard" sending retailers indoors to Macy's.

Maner wasn't sure if that would help or hurt sales, but she will have more days to sell the posters, 3D decorated helmets and other works by Fazzino — some of which cost almost as much as game tickets. On Monday, she had just sold a poster to a German couple who wanted a souvenir before returning home, but was expecting to do most of her business next week.

"The out-of-towners don't come until next week," Maner said. "I don't know if it's going to be busier than usual or lighter than usual."

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