The moment of truth has arrived for the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, with the two teams squaring off Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans to decide who will walk away with the Vince Lombardi Trophy as the winner of Super Bowl XLVII.
The battle between the American Football Conference champion Ravens and National Football Conference champion 49ers begins with the 6:30 p.m. EST kickoff.
The main storyline in the game is the match-up of Ravens head coach John Harbaugh against his brother, Jim, who is the head coach of the 49ers.
Some ticket resellers are asking up to $15,000 per seat for the big game.
Oddsmakers are picking the Ravens, who are led by quarterback Joe Flacco and veteran linebacker Ray Lewis, to win.
Lewis, who was voted the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXXV in 2001 and is considered one of the best ever to play his position, plans to retire after 17 years in the league.
The 49ers have not played in the Super Bowl since 1995, when they won the fifth NFL title in team history under the leadership of quarterback Steve Young.
San Francisco is now led by QB Colin Kaepernick, a 25-year-old who was not even a starter two months ago and is now considered one of the best signal callers in the National Football League.
New Orleans, which is hosting the Super Bowl for the 10th time, has spent the past week showcasing its recovery from Hurricane Katrina, which wiped out large sections of the city in 2005 and caused extensive damage to the Superdome.
Super Bowl XLVII is expected to pump nearly $500 million into the city, where some neighborhoods remain abandoned long after the monster storm displaced tens of thousands of residents.
City officials have tightened security across New Orleans, which is hosting an estimated 150,000 Super Bowl fans just days before the traditional Mardi Gras celebrations in the French Quarter.
The city's 1,200 police officers have been working 12-hour shifts for more than three weeks.
Some 200 Louisiana state troopers and 100 officers from other departments, as well as federal law enforcement agents, including about 100 FBI agents, will be in the streets, mixing with the tourists and keeping an eye out for trouble. EFE