INGLEWOOD (CBSLA) — Out-of-towners and locals alike flooded the streets of Inglewood Saturday as they prepared for Sunday's Super Bowl between the hometown Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Despite the overwhelming crowds both on the roads and on the sidewalks, Inglewood residents were more than anxious for the big game, but regardless of the result, they felt like they already won in the grand scheme of things.
"Going through COVID and everything, for the city to come out in unity - everybody's celebrating," said London Carter, one of the many Inglewood residents representing his city on Saturday. "
All eyes are on Inglewood this weekend, even NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's, who noted that he wouldn't be surprised to see the Super Bowl return to the area in the near future, based on the immediate success SoFi Stadium has brought, not only to the league, but to the city of Inglewood.
On Thursday the Commissioner mentioned his support in a pre-Super Bowl conference, "One of the things I'm really confident about, sitting here and feeling it this week, is that we really landed in the right spot."
He isn't alone, as both Rams and Chargers fans have taken an immediate liking to their home stadium. But this weekend, SoFi Stadium is all Rams, as they play "host" to the Bengals for Super Bowl LVI. Should they pull out a victory, they would be the second-straight team to win in front of their fans, as stadium hosts.
"It's California love," said Kenyan Payne, who was in attendance at the Taste of Inglewood street fair, "It's always pride."
Fans from all corners of the world gathered throughout Inglewood, and many of them weathered the record-breaking heat, and the long lines outside Los Angeles and Inglewood landmarks like Randy's Donuts, which one visitor from Cincinnati called "world-renowned."
Named after a Canadian town of the same name by the city's founder, Daniel Freeman in 1873, the city has always been about pride.
Randy's was offering a special football-shaped donut, of course in the blue-and-yellow color scheme in support of their hometown Rams. CBS reporters even caught some Bengals fans picking them up, despite the obvious bias for their Sunday rivals.
Marissa Dazell, who's in town for the game all the way from Toledo, Ohio, said she couldn't get enough of Inglewood or the residents, "People are so nice. We have not had one negative experience," she said.
Visitors weren't the only people taking in the Inglewood community for the first time though, as some Los Angeles County locals even made their way to the Super Bowl site, including Alana Gonzales.
"We've never been here," she said, "we were at home watching the news and we saw all this going on and I said 'Do you want to go?'"
Residents are beyond proud, not just that the Rams made it to the big game, but rather that they finally get to put a spotlight on their beloved city.
"It's in Inglewood. It's in our town," Carter continued, "With a brand new stadium... We got our cake and eat it too."
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