The American football campaign gets underway in style...

Over 100,000 people gathered in NEW YORK’s TIMES SQUARE yesterday (September 5) to watch BON JOVI, [a][/a], ALICIA KEYS and ENRIQUE IGLESIAS play a show that both kicked off the NFL American football season and also served to commemorate the victims of 11 September.

The NFL upped the estimate of the number of people in attendance. They suggested 500,000 showed up.

An area around Times Square stretching for 20 blocks was turned into a motor-free zone for the event. Security was heavy, with 5,700 police officers deployed and bags carried by people in the crowd restricted.

“We are trying to find some optimism,” Jon Bon Jovi said before the concert. “We want to celebrate the resilience of New York and New Yorkers, and show the world we are grateful for their thoughts and prayers.”

Bon Jovi closed their headline set with a patriotic flourish performing ‘America The Beautiful’ while a giant US flag was unfurled across the watching crowd.

At the end of their show, Bon Jovi were taken by helicopter across to the Giants Stadium in New Jersey. They performed at half time in the opening game of the new season between the Giants and the San Francisco 49ers, a clash eagerly awaited by fans of American football.

Next week New York will be in more sombre mood as a series of events will take place to mark the first anniversary of September 11.