The NFL Experience is taking place in Dallas, Texas at the Dallas Convention Center. It opened on January 27 and the ticket prices are $25 for adults and $20 for children. My significant other and I are die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fans, so we wanted to attend the NFL Experience and soak in the Super Bowl XLV excitement that is building in North Texas.
The organizers of the event sell the tickets through ticket master and at the door, but they ask you to pick which hour you want to show up. They did this to try and space out the crowd, which was actually a really good idea. We picked the 3 PM time slot to go to the NFL Experience on Friday, January 28. As soon as we walked towards the entrance and saw the huge XLV sign for the Super Bowl, our excitement began to grow.
I had never been to the Dallas Convention Center, but I was surprised at how large and impressive it was. Outside of the convention center were a multitude of police officers, paramedics, firefighters and even FBI personnel to make sure everyone was safe and having a good time. We picked up our tickets at Will Call and noticed a slew of volunteers in red shirts and gray shirts available to point us in the right direction. During our two and a half hours at the NFL Experience, we utilized those volunteers for directions and found them to all be helpful and friendly.
There were many things to do and see, so I thought I would list some of them here for those of you considering attending the NFL Experience:
1- The NFL Shop located inside the Dallas Convention Center takes up a large portion of one end of the center. Inside you can find specific Super Bowl XLV souvenirs as well as jerseys, caps and footballs for your favorite team. You could spend a lot of time in there, but don’t, there is much more to see.
2- They have a stage set up that mimics the NFL Draft Day stage. It’s free to go up there, ask for your favorite team jersey and have whoever you are with take a picture of you holding the jersey up like you were the #1 draft pick for your team.
3- They constantly have random NFL football players sitting at a table signing autographs. Just bring something for them to sign and get in line. Yesterday they had players from the Redskins, Ravens and Raiders, as well as other teams.
4- There is a large area where NFL memorabilia is being sold by merchants who have come from all over America for the big event. We purchased six Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl wall hangings for our Steelers room! Don’t be afraid to ask for a better price than what they quote you, especially if you are buying multiple items. Some merchants are willing to bargain and different merchants have different prices. If you like autographed memorabilia, you can find it there.
5- Ever seen a Super Bowl ring up close? Well inside the convention center there is a glass case with a Super Bowl ring from each of the 44 Super Bowl’s already played. They also have big photos of each of the rings so you can get a better look at them.
6- Want to know how those cool NFL footballs are made? Well they have people onsite who are making them in front of you so you can watch the whole process! You can also purchase a football you request them to design. Add your name on the ball or a special date and you have a cool keepsake.
7- Want to play football or run drills with some Dallas Cowboys players? Yep, you can do that too. Kids and adults alike yesterday played flag football on artificial turf with Cowboys players Teddy Williams, Ross Weaver and Stephen McGee.
8- They have specific kids only areas so the younger ones can play games that are built for their size. The kids looked to be having a blast in the Rush Zone for Kids.
9- Ever wonder how hard it is to kick a field goal or throw a lob pass over a defender? Well the Play 60 Game Zone is the perfect area to find out what your football skill levels are like. I threw passes over and around automated defenders, which was fun. I convinced myself to try a field goal kick, thinking I would surely embarrass myself but deciding it was worth the try. Surprisingly enough I made my first kick from the 10 yard line and then went to the 20 yard line and made that one too! I was on cloud nine after that and took it as a sign that the Steelers will win the Super Bowl. Sorry Packers fans.
10- They have headless statues of football players from each NFL team throughout the NFL Experience. Just climb up and take a picture of your head on the uniform of your choice and you instantly become a member of your favorite NFL team.
11-The Sponsor Zone will net you some freebies and the chance to sit in on a chat from a player or as we saw, an NFL referee. You get to ask them those burning questions you have like, “Hey Mr. Ref, how come when James Harrison gets held 30 times a game, you only call it once?” The answer: “We don’t like Mr. Harrison.” OK, just joking, he didn’t say that, but he probably wanted to say it.
12- Want to be an NFL broadcaster? The Play of the Day booth gives you a chance to put on a headset and read a teleprompter of a script of your choice for your favorite teams biggest moment. I chose the 1972 Super Bowl immaculate reception between Terry Bradshaw and Franco Harris, a beautiful moment for Steeler Nation! They give you the website info where you can see your video for free.
13- The one thing you must do while you are at the NFL Experience is to get your picture taken with the Lombardi Trophy. Being that close to that beautiful polished silver trophy that your favorite team works hard to win, is a glorious experience.
I hope you will go to the NFL Experience if you have a chance; it is well worth the money. Parking cost me $10. The NFL Experience runs from Jan 27- February 6 but it is closed on Monday, January 31 and Tuesday, February 1. Click here for more info.
Source: Author’s experience at NFL Experience, NFL.com