Safe Final Four Saturday impresses visitors

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As the Sunday afternoon check-ins at MSP Airport picked up, some of the Final Four fans departing were decidedly down.

“A little part of me died last night,” said Nathan Burdette, a forlorn Auburn fan returning home.

Auburn fans couldn’t believe the final seconds. There was a missed double dribble, a controversial foul and Virginia took the Championship spot Auburn thought it had won.

“We go from cheering, thought we’d won, to now booking a flight going home,” Burdette said.

There were 72,711 people in U.S. Bank Stadium Saturday night and despite the Auburn drama and their understandable anger, there were hardly any problems in the close quarters of the concourses.

 “It was uneventful for a big event,” said Sgt. Darcy Horn of the Minneapolis Police Department.

Minneapolis Police say the Super Bowl experience helped them prepare as did extensive planning and help from 30 other law enforcement agencies.

“One arrest made for disorderly conduct at the stadium,” Horn added. “It’s an amazing, amazing number. Much less than a typical Vikings game.”

“The city’s been tremendous,” said Andy Johnson, a Virginia fan. “Handled the crowds really well.”

Johnson was flying home with his family because his boys have school and couldn’t stay through Monday’s championship game.

To make matters worse, as Tracy Johnson explains, the Johnson family’s home is in Birmingham, Alabama, where they are likely to run into some Auburn fans.

“We’re going home to Birmingham, Alabama, where we’re going to be kind of in the mix of lots of Auburn fans, so it might be tough to go to work or school tomorrow,” she said.