Cleanup begins as whirlwind Super Bowl week wraps up

One of the busiest weeks in Minneapolis history wrapped up Sunday night with the Eagles winning their first Super Bowl in franchise history--an event on the world's biggest stage that, come Monday morning, seemed almost like a distant memory.

Crews were out overnight in subzero wind chills dismantling and carting off a week's worth of equipment that transformed the city's downtown into a veritable playground of Super Bowl-related activities--concrete security blockades, signs plastered on every available surface and even the centerpiece 198-foot long bridge spanning the intersection of Nicollet and 9th Street.

U.S. Bank Stadium, after weeks of preparations and several hours of celebrations following the Eagles' victory, stood mostly intact--save a few seatbacks that were ripped off as makeshift souvenirs by exuberant fans.

"We're proud that U.S. Bank Stadium stood up tall on the world stage," said Mark Wilf, the President and co-owner of the Minnesota Vikings.

It's the stadium many credit for bringing the year's marquee sporting event this far north, though even after hosting the coldest Super Bowl on record Gov. Mark Dayton got an early start Monday to hand the mantle off to next year's host Atlanta, another city with a new stadium the NFL is looking to show off.

Fans from either side, for the most part, said the entire week of festivities across the Twin Cities was a smashing success, with no major incidents and plenty of satisfied--if a little cold--attendees.

Praise went out to the swarm of volunteers who helped visitors navigate the area, relatively smooth transportation for upwards of 100,000 people throughout the week and a competent security force that, while certainly visible, wasn't overly obtrusive.

"Minnesota people, you're so nice," one Patriots fan said. "It was a terriffic week, you guys were great hosts for the city."

As the sun came up Monday morning and the entire event settled safely in the rearview mirror, Minneapolis--Minnesota at large, really--finally seemed ready to exhale after a week of holding its breath.

That is, until next time.