BOSTON — New England Patriots returned to Massachusetts Monday as fans prepared for a victory parade in the streets of Boston to celebrate their team's 34-28 dramatic overtime Super Bowl win over the Atlanta Falcons.
The Patriots returned to New England on Monday night, bringing their fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy home to show off for fans who filled the parking lots outside the team's stadium and lined up for hours.
Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia carried the silver trophy off the bus at Gillette Stadium, where fans were dozens deep along the route in near-freezing temperatures.
“That was wild,” Corner back Eric Rowe said. “I knew there was gonna be some people there but they were ready to knock down the guard rail it was so packed."
The pro shop at Gillette Stadium opened at 6 a.m., but fans began lining up outside in the middle of the night, in sub-freezing temperatures hoping to buy Super Bowl championship gear.
A parade is planned for Tuesday in Boston, with near-freezing temperatures not expected to dampen Pats fans enthusiasm. It will be the fifth championship parade for the Pats since 2002. The Red Sox have had three and the Bruins and Celtics one apiece since then.
Hundreds of fans gathered late Sunday night and early Monday morning in Boston Common. They were dancing, cheering and chanting "Brady." Police also were there to make sure the celebrations didn't get out of hand. There were no immediate reports of any problems and fans were mostly described as being well-behaved.
Democratic Boston Mayor Marty Walsh took to Twitter late Sunday to congratulate the Patriots and announce the victory parade, which is scheduled for Tuesday morning.
Walsh said a parade celebrating their championship will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. He says the Pats "have made Boston and New England proud."
Streets on the parade route will close around 9 a.m. The city is anticipating 500-thousand to one million people.
"We’ll have a lot of officers undercover inside the crowd,” Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans said. “We ask the public if they come the less luggage, the less backpacks, articles of clothing or whatnot that might draw suspicion, to leave them at home the best you can.”
This is the Patriots fifth Super Bowl win.
Boston police tweeted their thanks "to all the fans who acted like champions tonight" and wrote that they would see them again on Tuesday.