SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) — With less than 24 hours until Super Bowl LVI, featuring the hometown Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals, Southern California beaches were far more crowded than normal on Saturday.
Over 100,000 football fans set to attend the big game, many actually headed away from SoFi Stadium, and instead to the sand in an attempt to take in the uncharacteristic summer day in February.
Since many of the people heading into the Southland hail from Ohio, or other Midwest states, 80 degree beach weather is far from normal, in fact, on Saturday in Cincinnati, there was a high of 23 degrees with a likelihood for snow.
So when Becky Matheny, a Bengals fan from Louisville, KY saw today's weather she made sure she went to thaw out of her winter freeze at the beach, "I love it here," she said.
Despite her newfound love for Southern California, she refused to drop her lasting passion for the Bengals.
"Because it's the Bengals! We got Burrow, we got 'em all!" she told CBS reporter Nicole Comstock, "We got the best kicker in the NFL!"
Ironically, another Bengals fan named Becky spoke with Comstock while she was in Santa Monica.
Becky Shelton, who hails from Cincinnati, disclosed that today was her first time on the West Coast. But like the other Becky, she refused to give up on her Bengals, despite being in enemy territory. "We're not going back to Cincy without a win," she said.
Larry Wasser was of another mind, "Well, what happens when you're in L.A., you become a Rams fan," the Toronto transplant disclosed, "there's no choice."
Regardless of what team beachgoers were rooting for come Sunday, local shops and restaurants were reaping the benefits of the Super Bowl, like many other businesses across the Southland, even ahead of the big game.
Big Dean's Ocean Front Cafe, located just off the Santa Monica Pier, was one of the many businesses that was overwhelmed by the sudden influx of consumers.
"We've been very busy," said Mary Francis Bonzoni, a supervisor at Big Dean's.
Despite the craze, employees were grateful for a change of tone when it came to their customers, especially those with the Midwestern hospitality in mind.
"Theres's a lot of people from out of town, these people are really nice - you can tell the difference!," Bonzoni continued.
Mike Morris was yet another Cincinnati local who took the 2,175 mile trip west to watch his team play in the Super Bowl for the first time in 31 years.
"I've been enjoying your city," he said, "Did the tourist thing yesterday, hit all the big stops and today we're hanging out at the pier; tomorrow's the big game!"
The warm weather is expected to last again through Super Bowl Sunday, and stretch into Monday before winter weather re-descends upon the Southland, bringing back a little bit of normalcy for Los Angeles County in the wake of Super Bowl LVI.
for more features.