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.

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“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.

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“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.

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

Kate Raddatz