#SB46 fans take to social media to navigate Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Attention, SB46 fans: Looking for a celebrity? Need a parking spot or a bathroom? How about a place to eat without waiting for hours? The answers could be just a tweet away.

A year after Super Bowl 45 set a record 4,064 tweets per second during the fourth quarter of the game, organizers are aiming to make this year’s game in Indianapolis the most connected Super Bowl ever.

Dozens of volunteers are stationed along downtown streets, armed with tablets and walkie-talkies that connect them to the game’s first-ever social media command center. There, volunteers mine Twitter, Facebook and other social networks for real-time news that can help fans avoid hassles that could ruin their Super Bowl experience.

More than 37,000 fans are following the host committee on Facebook and through the game’s official Twitter account, SuperBowl2012, where pleas for trash removal mingle with requests for tickets to a Lucas Oil Stadium tour. Thousands more have texted SB2012 for weather, traffic and other information.

And yes, in case you’re wondering, there’s an app for that: The NFL also has created an official “SB XLVI Guide” app for iPhone, iPad and Android phones with a 3D map of Indianapolis that includes road closures and a parking restaurants and events guide. Ticket holders can also type in their seat section and see where they’ll be sitting on game day.

Curious? Here’s a user guide to digitally exploring the Super Bowl:

WHERE’S JIMMY?

Celebrity-spotting has become a social media sport, and it’s in high gear this week in Indy. Want to know where to spot Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow or halftime performer Madonna? Search the game’s official hashtag, SB46.

Host Jimmy Fallon, taping his “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” at the Hilbert Circle Theatre this week, has used his Twitter account, jimmyfallon, to post photos of him enjoying the city, from a ride on the 800-foot-long zip line that soars above Super Bowl Village to a walk around Monument Circle, the war memorial-and-fountain adorned center of downtown, in drag. He’s given a boost to local restaurants, tweeting about the food and staff. And fans hoping to catch the show live have been checking Twitter to see how long the line is and whether standby tickets are available.

But star watchers, beware. Twitter never promised accuracy.

At one point this week, actor Ryan Gosling was seen at a downtown restaurant, somewhere in nearby suburb Zionsville or an hour away in Columbus, Ind., with Brad Pitt, all around the same time.

GET ME OUT OF THIS CAR:

Last week, a spike in complaints about not being able to find parking led to the creation of an interactive downtown parking map (http://4rd.ca/aaaDPJ), which pinpoints every garage in the area for desperate drivers. But those stuck in traffic might be served just as well to pick up their smartphones.

While driving from Bloomington with her friends Wednesday to see a taping of Fallon’s show in Indianapolis, Laura Hunsucker checked the SuperBowl2012 Twitter account for advice on the best routes.

The directions she found there took her group straight to a parking garage with plenty of spaces just a few blocks from Super Bowl Village.

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