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Go early, enjoy the hoopla

By Times staff

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 25, 2001

Game day tips

The Super Bowl starts at 6 p.m. on Sunday. Gates at Raymond James Stadium open at 3 p.m.; the parking lots open at 9 a.m. Ticketholders are advised to get there early.

Expect heavy traffic -- police say it may be heavier than on a typical Buccaneers game day -- on Himes Avenue and Dale Mabry between I-275 and Hillsborough Avenue.

The NFL Experience is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on game day but only for those who have Super Bowl game tickets. Game ticket holders still must buy a separate ticket for the NFL Experience.

Hillsborough Area Rapid Transit says it will try to maintain normal bus schedules, with the same detours in the stadium area as on Buccaneers game days.

Tips for autograph hunters

The easiest way to get an athlete's signature on NFL memorabilia is to attend the autograph sessions at the NFL Experience. Call (888) 635-2273 daily to find out who's signing and when they're signing. The New York Giants' hotel, the Wyndham Westshore, 4860 W Kennedy Blvd., will allow autograph seekers in the lobby as long as the crowd doesn't get too large. The Baltimore Ravens' hotel, the Hyatt Westshore, 6200 Courtney Campbell Parkway, will allow autograph seekers to line up behind ropes outside. In both cases, it's up to the players to decide whether to sign anything. Wherever you approach a player or any celebrity, remember that you'll always get better results if you are polite and don't interrupt their meal.

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