Jan 24, 2010 4:34 PM
NEW ORLEANS (AP) New Orleans Saints fans hope to turn the Superdome, a symbol of suffering after Hurricane Katrina, into a party scene that would transcend any Mardi Gras.
The parking lots outside the dome teemed with tailgaters hours before the kickoff for Sunday's NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings. Many more fans were staking out barstools in the city's French Quarter.
The Saints are playing for their first trip to the Super Bowl since being founded in 1966.
The Saints' title run has been a rallying point for a city still struggling to recover from Katrina's destruction in 2005. Win or lose, extra police reportedly were planned near the dome and in the French Quarter.