By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota football fans without tickets to the Super Bowl were still ready to watch.

Many started Super Bowl Sunday with brunch at downtown Minneapolis restaurants like Ike’s.

“The atmosphere in this place is amazing,” said executive chef Andy Shnader. “Everyone is happy. I think Minneapolis and Minnesota has done a wonderful job.”

Ike’s had record sales over the Super Bowl weekend. Out-of-towners flocked to downtown Minneapolis to check out the Super Bowl Live experience.

“I think it’s a cool experience,” Shnader said. “I hope we get to do it again with our new stadium.”

TJ Zak, an Eagles fan who surprised his dad with a trip to the Super Bowl, said he was impressed by the kindness of Minnesotans.

“People from Minnesota are great and I’ll tell you it’s gotta be tough, the losing a couple of weeks ago, but the way they opened their doors to us has been absolutely super,” he said.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter hosted a free Super Bowl pre-party at the Jimmy Lee Recreation Center.

“We have a lot of families in St. Paul that might never go to a Super Bowl game, maybe can’t afford to go to the game in Minneapolis, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a good time,” he said.

Meanwhile, Super Bowl workers are looking forward to Monday.

“I got a massage tomorrow at 10 a.m.,” Shnader said. “I’m working backwards from that.”

Kate Raddatz