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Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEW ORLEANS -- Wednesday afternoon the Super Bowl XLVII letters went up in the side of the Superdome in New Orleans.

The 52 acre campus in and around the stadium is buzzing with activity as work crews play beat the clock during the ramp up to the big game on Feb. 3.

'The tents are going up as we speak,' said Superdome/SMG VP Doug Thornton. 'The CBS compound is being constructed. We will soon move in the trailers, the network production trailers.'

Thornton said the NFL and its sponsors have plans for just about every inch of the stadium footprint.

A tent covering one entire parking lot and the New Orleans Arena across from the dome will host the NFL pregame tailgate party for about 10,000 ticket holders and their guests.

Champions Square will host the gameday fan plaza, and NFL high rollers will use the old Macy's food court for premium food and beverages before the big game.

'What it means is we will have more people who have tickets to game that will be coming to the site earlier than the would have in, say, 2002,' said Thornton.

There's also a lot of action going on inside the 'Dome. The NFL is building new rigging for the Super Bowl. Crews are expanding the terrace level press box to accommodate 5000 members of the media. And, new control rooms are being constructed for the NFL up in the Superdome rafters.

The official merchandiser of the big game was also moving in Wednesday. Maingate is setting up more than 40 points of sale in and around the 'Dome.

'It's a lot of fun to come in here and see the whole Superdome come to life,' said Maingate Chief Merchandising Officer Bruce Lynch. 'When we first got here, there's wasn't a whole lot going on, but each day there's more and more people in here, more and more things going on. It's just so much fun being here getting ready for the world's greatest event.'

What does it cost to stage the world's greatest event? Nobody would say for sure but sources reveal it will be in the tens of millions of dollars.

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