CINCINNATI, Ohio (WDTN) – Bengals fans gave the team their final welcome home and “thank you” rally Wednesday night to celebrate their Super Bowl run. Thousands of fans filled Washington Park in downtown Cincinnati to send a message to the men.

“They might have not won the game but they stole everyone’s hearts and they were awesome,” said Bengals fan Rhoda. 

Along with thousands of fans, Governor Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine were in attendance along with Head Coach Zac Taylor and Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval.

“We’ve come through a tough time in the last couple years, we needed this, we needed optimism, victories, and they did it,” said DeWine.

Other fans said they hope the entire country starts to notice the Cincinnati Bengals.

“Nobody gives us respect and we’ve very much deserved the respect now,” said Bengals fan Michelle Land. “I’ve been laughed at my whole life but look at us now, AFC Champions and everyone watched us make it to the Super Bowl.”

Wednesday night’s rally truly sent a message to the Bengals to keep their heads up for next season, the entire city has their backs.

“We just want to tell them how proud we are of them,” said Bengals fan Sarah. “We want to say thank you for all you’ve done for this city and let them know to hold their heads up high and we’re so proud of them.”