The Super Bowl Experience: Fun in the sun (if you don’t mind the wait)

There’s a lot of fun to be had at the Super Bowl Experience, the big football fan-stravaganza in Tampa’s Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. But know this: You’ll have to wait in line to do most of it.

Which is no big deal for anyone who’s ever been to, say, Disney World. But be forewarned: If you are among the fortunate who managed to snag a ticket to the now-sold-out event, be sure to bring a hat and sunscreen during the day, a mask (or two) and a large dose of patience. The Experience continues Wednesday (3-10 p.m., with special Kid’s Day hours from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.); Thursday (3-10 p.m.); Friday and Saturday (10 a.m.-10 p.m.).

THIS JUST IN (as of Tuesday 2/2 at 10:30 a.m.) from the folks at Super Bowl Experience: “We will be accepting walk-ups for Super Bowl Experience at Julian B. Lane for WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY only. Capacity is limited and entry is not guaranteed. Reservations will still be required for both FRIDAY and SATURDAY and walk-ups will not be permitted. NFL OnePass is required for entry for all fans attending. Additionally, face coverings are required at all times.”  

Whenever you go, expect to smile. For fans and especially for families, the mood of team spirit and togetherness is hard to beat.

Is there anything more purely joyful than watching kids tear into a 40-yard dash?

Ready…
…Set…
… GO!

Or even better, seeing parents guide their little ones through an obstacle course (a metaphor for parenting if there ever was one)?

The lines were somewhat less daunting for these events than for the branded skill-testing attractions like the Lowe’s Field Goal Kick and the Bridgestone Two Minute Grill.

We opted to ignore altogether the indoor exhibits (Super Bowl Rings, NFL Locker Room, My Cause My Cleats, etc.) because the line snaked around three sides of the building and doubled back.

There were plenty of line-free opportunities to live the NFL Dream, though, whether by posing inside one of the many disembodied uniforms…

Or by wearing your favorite helmet…

Or, if you’re a less-than-agile magazine editor, standing beside it…

We did want to get an up-close gander at the Vince Lombardi Trophy. However, the nice lady volunteer told us that the wait would be “an hour ten — and it will only get worse.” (This was around 12:30 p.m.) When we told her we’d just look forward to seeing Tom Brady hoist it at RayJay, she smiled and pointed to her Kansas City Chiefs earrings.

So ya see, you don’t have to be rooting for the Bucs to have a good time at the Experience.

BTW, masking (if not distancing) was in full force. And in a welcome acknowledgment of those for whom all the hoopla might prove a bit much, the autism-awareness organizations CARD and Kulture City were hosting a Sensory Relief Zone tent, a quiet spot for a bit of respite.

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