The excitement surrounding next Sunday’s Super Bowl LIV game in South Florida officially began with the arrival of both teams at Miami International Airport one week before the big game.
Both the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers arrived Sunday afternoon and evening, respectively, to prepare for their first ever meeting in the championship game of the National Football League.
Many of the players for the Chiefs, who are making their first Super Bowl appearance in a half century, got off the plane wearing Hawaiian print shirts to pay tribute to their head coach Andy Reid – who is looking for his first title after leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a loss in Super Bowl 39 against the New England Patriots.
The 49ers come to South Florida fresh off two blowout victories in the NFC playoffs under head coach Kyle Shanahan – all while looking to win their third Super Bowl crown inside what is now called Hard Rock Stadium.
The teams will practice this week across the area ahead of Sunday’s game that will have the Chiefs playing in their third Super Bowl, having lost in the first game and getting a win in Super Bowl IV, while the 49ers are playing in their sixth Super Bowl game – having won the first five before losing in Super Bowl XLVII to the Baltimore Ravens in 2013.
Sunday’s arrivals were among the many sporting events to be marred by the tragedy that came with the news of former basketball legend Kobe Bryant’s death in a California helicopter crash on Sunday along with eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes tweeted a message offering condolences to Bryant’s family as the team was traveling to South Florida while football fans attending Sunday’s Pro Bowl game in Orlando held a moment of silence to remember the former Los Angeles Lakers star.