NEWORLEANS - Thursday marks one month until the Super Bowl in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and city officials are working to get the Crescent City ready for the big event.
The big game, which will occur in the middle of Carnival, will turn the 'Dome into a major construction project as officials prepare it for a national, and in some instances international, focal point.
'It's going to be a huge zoo. First of all there's going to be a security perimeter, like it was in 2002, around the Superdome, and across the middle of Poydras Street, there will be a concrete barrier...NFL tailgate party will be back at the New Orleans Arena area, so that's something that's on campus now,' said Jay Cicero of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation and the Super Bowl Host Committee.
Streets will begin to close Saturday, specifically those around the Superdome, including Dave Dixon Drive, West Stadium Drive and the Superdome exit on I-10.
Poydras Street will remain open until January 26, and then the river-bound lanes of the street will close.
'It's just a massive effort. There will be thousands of people working inside and outside the 'Dome on a daily basis, prepping for February 3,' Cicero said.
More than 5,000 hours of work will be done by volunteers between Thursday and the Super Bowl. Volunteers will also fix up five New Orleans Recreational Department facilities on Super Saturday of Service.
Besides the thousands of fans expected to come into the city for the game, 5,000 members of the media are seeking credentials.
City officials warned that parking will be extremely difficult during Super Bowl week. Officials suggest walking and taking public transit.
The game is expected to bring in $500 million for the city and the Gulf Coast region.
The 47th Super Bowl can be watched on Channel 4.