Excitement builds as fans flock to Houston for Super Bowl LI

A fan holds a sign during opening night for the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons at Minute Maid Park Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A fan holds a sign during opening night for the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons at Minute Maid Park Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

HOUSTON (NEXSTAR MEDIA) — The city of Houston is welcoming football fans and non-fans alike ahead of Super Bowl LI.

Whether they’ve traveled from nearby, out of state or even another country, they’re all coming for the extravagance of the big game.

“It’s an event that’s just once a year and it is fantastic to be here,” said Luis Arrochi, who drove 12 hours from Mexico so his son could see his favorite team, the New England Patriots.

“In a huge fan of the NFL and my team is in the Super Bowl,” he added.

Texas resident Judy Kraft is a Cowboys’ fan but couldn’t miss out on the excitement in her own state.

“It’s my birthday and I wanted to come down here even though the Cowboys didn’t win,” she said.

Brady Lindberg traveled from South Dakota.

“It’s been a tradition,” Lindberg said, adding, “I go to all the Super Bowls, or the ‘Super Week’ anyway.”

He continued, “It’s very exciting coming down here, meeting athletes, and the environment is pretty fun.”

Daniella Chang traveled to Houston from Miami.

“When we had the Super Bowl in Miami we just moved from the country and we didn’t really, weren’t really into the football scene or anything like that so it’s nice to see all the people who are really into their teams,” she said.

One million people are expected to visit Houston in the days leading up to the big game.

Super Bowl LI, featuring the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, will kick off at 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday.