Packers fans celebrate Super Bowl victory

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GREEN BAY, Wis. | Giddy Green Bay Packers fans poured into the frigid Lambeau Field parking lots early Tuesday to fire up their grills and throw down beers in a final tailgate to cap a magical season that ended in Super Bowl victory.

At $5 each, the 50,000 tickets for Tuesday’s “Return to Titletown” celebration at the stadium sold out in a matter of hours Monday, and they were going for as much as $140 each on the ticket resale site StubHub on Tuesday. The team said a portion of the proceeds will go to charity.

Don Jobe, 24, of Appleton, and three of his friends were in the Lambeau parking lot by 9:45 a.m., braving 3-degree temperatures and a negative 14-degree wind chill to tailgate.

“That’s what true Packer fans do,” Jobe said as he struggled in the cold to light the group’s grill. “You only win the Super Bowl so often.”

Jobe’s friend, 21-year-old Stephanie Tipler, said the group wanted to get to Lambeau by 7 a.m., but that she talked them into holding off until 9 a.m.

Packed in the group’s trunk were brats, beer and cupcakes.

“Typical Wisconsin cuisine,” Tipler said.

The Green Bay area, which is the smallest market with an NFL team, has been in the throes of a nonstop party since the Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 on Sunday in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Thousands of flooded downtown Green Bay streets after Sunday’s win to celebrate under a green and gold fireworks display. And on Monday, schools let out early and businesses closed so that fans young and old could pack city sidewalks to cheer the team’s returning motorcade.

Tuesday’s cold didn’t bother Ken Hampp, 23, of Appleton, as he sipped a Budweiser.

“The weather’s fine. I can barely feel it,” he said. “That’s my favorite thing about winter. You can just stick your beer in the snow.”

By 11:30 a.m. fans were pouring into the parking lot. Some hovered in the players’ parking area, hoping for an autograph. But many others fired up their grills, cranked their car stereos and threw the football around.

Steven Hass, 17, of Rome, Wisconsin, said he and his family began the three-hour drive to Lambeau Field at 7 a.m. He was gloveless and his fingers had turned bright pink, but he didn’t care.

“The Packers won the Super Bowl. It doesn’t come along very often. When it does, you’ve got to have fun,” he said.

His father, Dennis Hass, 54, said the family brought brats and burgers, but told a reporter that wasn’t worth writing down because “It’s all you’re going to hear all day.”

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