The NFL Experience 2008 in Glendale, Arizona
The NFL Experience is THE interactive theme park of the professional football league that happens each year before the Super Bowl. I personally can’t think of a better time of year to visit Arizona than January, when the bulk of the country is a frozen tundra. This interactive theme park is built each year in Glendale, Arizona by Home Depot in the West Parking Lot of the University of Phoenix stadium. It is open from January 26-27, January 31 and February 1-2 so even if you don’t get to go the the actual game, you can still check out the park. On Sunday, February 3, the park is open to Super Bowl XLII ticket holders only.
The NFL Experience covers a vast 850,000 square feet and contains more than 50 interactive games and attractions. And you can feel good about your visit as proceeds go to the NFL/Youth Education Town, a multi-faceted educational and recreation facility designed to improve the academic and physical fitness, as well as job-related skills of at-risk youth.
“The NFL Experience Built By The Home Depot is designed to offer fans of all ages the opportunity to be part of the excitement of Super Bowl XLII, whether they have a ticket to the game or not. It is a celebration of football for fans in Arizona, as well as visitors throughout the state,” said Frank Supovitz, the NFL’s Senior Vice President of Events. “The NFL Experience Built By The Home Depot provides everybody a chance to participate in the game of football, while at the same time helping the community by generating charitable funds.”
If you’re lucky enough to visit the NFL Experience, you can run, throw, punt, kick and pass like the pros. You can do “The Drive,” in which you’ll have the opportunity to experience the ultimate in resistance training as you attempt to score a touchdown while harnessed to a bungee. And you can do the “Quarterback Challenge,” in which you test your passing skills on targets modeled after the Quarterback Challenge televised competition. If you’re taking the wee ones, they can visit the “Kids’ Zone,” which offers games and attractions for kids.
Meet the Pros
Another HUGE attraction at the Super Bowl Experience is the Topps Super Bowl XLII Card Show. This show will give you the opportunity to get autographs from as many as 50 current and former NFL stars. But not all at once. The players will appear at different times over the five days the Experience is open. Topps is offering 30,000 square feet of merchandise, including displays and rare collectibles from leading dealers across the country. Past attendees included Deacon Jones, Marcus Allen, Jack Ham, Dan Marino, Thurman Thomas and Paul Warfield, as well as football stars Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner, Zach Thomas, Trent Green and Jeff Garcia. I’ve never asked a celebrity for an autograph before so I don’t know what to think about all that, but I did get my picture taken with George Clinton recently.
History of the Game
In addition to the above, you can watch a visual history of the NFL at the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Throwbacks Exhibit. This exhibit will showcase a variety of authentic artifacts, including photographs and one-of-a-kind items on loan from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in Canton, Ohio.
For your shopping and souvenir needs, you can check out the NFL Experience Super Bowl Store, which will cover nearly 30,000 square feet. The Super Bowl Store will feature NFL licensed merchandise from each and every team in the league.
NFLX After Dark Party
NFLX After Dark is a three hour party for adults only. The event will take place on January 31, from 9:00 p.m. to midnight.
Tickets to The NFL Experience will go on sale Wednesday, December 12, at 10:00 a.m. You can get yours by calling (866) TIX-4NFL (849-4635), online at superbowl.com, and at the gate on January 26. Tickets are an affordable $17.50 for adults and $12.50 for children 12 and under. They are for a particular day and time. NFLX After Dark tickets are $10 per person. If you purchase your tickets by phone or online, you will be subject to the outrageous Ticketmaster surcharges. Tickets sold at the gate will be available only during operational days and hours. Ticket prices do include all activities, but once you leave you can’t re-enter.