MINNEAPOLIS — Here’s how lucky Chelsea and Courey Marshall are: They are going to Sunday’s Super Bowl after spending the previous night in a luxury suite at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Courey Marshall, a graduate of the Naval Academy who spent five years in the service, and his wife, who works for a chiropractic practice, are Broncos fans from San Diego. So this isn’t their first trip to the big game. In 2016, they were at Levi’s Stadium to see Denver beat Carolina for the NFL championship.
Sure, their team and favorite player, now-retired Peyton Manning , are not on hand this year. And the couple had no plans to be in Minnesota in February.
Then Courey was notified — by Manning, of all people — that he’d won the Courtyard by Marriott Super Bowl contest. The prizes include two tickets to Eagles-Patriots, and also the opportunity to stay in the converted stadium suite on Saturday night.
“I’ve never been in a completely empty stadium, let alone the Super Bowl stadium,” he said. “And to have my wife with me, and to wake up on game day in the stadium, that’s pretty special.”
Added Chelsea: “I can’t imagine what it’s like to wake up in the Super Bowl stadium with no fans there.”
They’re about to find out.
The suite is on field level next to where the Patriots would run out of the tunnel before the game. It will be converted from the sleepover suite back to its original state well before kickoff, and the Marshalls will have prime seats near midfield.
Eli Manning was on hand this week to show off a replica of the suite and an omnitheater presentation that replicated the experience.
“You’re right there in the dome and get to see all the behind-the-scenes stuff,” he said. “Then you wake up on Super Bowl Sunday right there. Has to be a wonderful experience.”