Come Experience The Super Bowl


Image taken from the official Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee twitter account

Tyler Oldano, Staff Writer

   If you’ve been out on the Shimberg Field in the last couple of weeks, you’ve probably noticed the large white tents lining the exterior of the schools parking lot and the Julian B. Lane riverfront park. No, it’s not the city’s newest COVID-19 vaccination center, but the Super Bowl Experience, a football oriented theme park that’s right in Tampa Prep’s backyard. 

   The Super Bowl Experience is a tradition for the Super Bowl, and has appeared most recently in the 2020 Super Bowl in Miami. The event boasts more than twelve different attractions and experiences for people of all ages to enjoy. In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, the Sports Commission Director for the Tampa Bay Area Rob Higgins, describes the event as a “theme park for football fans,” a place where pigskin enthusiasts can “create memories that last a lifetime with their family.”

   The venue is full of events that not only commemorate the Super Bowl’s arrival in Tampa, but try to give fans an experience typical to the average NFL athlete. The theme park includes a variety of athletic challenges themed around football including, the obstacle course, 40-yard dash, and two designated field goal areas, where attendees can kick a football through NFL uprights and score a simulated field goal.

   Alongside the typical football affair, there are a few options that make use of the latest technology a great example of this is the 40-yard dash, where players race against virtual opponents that appear on a 40-yards long LED screen. 

   Another attraction that makes use of the latest technology, is the NFL Locker Room replica, a place meant to imitate real life stadium locker rooms to give attendees a simulation of “the real NFL pregame” according to the website. 

   There are even attractions for people looking to improve their football skills, kids ages six through fourteen can participate in football clinics covering flag football and heads up tackle football taught by professional NFL players and coaches. The Super Bowl Experience even has the vertical jump, an experience cited by the Super Bowl website as being “just like the NFL scouting combine.”

   There are some fears that with the presence of COVID-19, the event will be unsafe for guests and players alike. There are some restrictions put in place to keep everyone as safe as possible. First of all masks are required, and ones that have holes and valves are banned outright. Next, cash is banned outright, the only way to make purchases is to use a credit card or another form of electronic payment. And lastly, no physical autographs or meet-and-greets will be allowed, you will still see the athletes, but on digital screens located around the venue.

   With all of these cool activities it wouldn’t be hard to imagine this all costing an arm and a leg. In reality, this couldn’t be farther from the case. The only thing required to visit the white tent is to reserve a time-slot on the NFL One-pass app (which you can find at the link below), the whole experience, minus the cost of food and drinks, is completely free. The event is only available for a limited time during super bowl week, and due to COVID-19, spots are limited. If you’re interested in attending, make sure to download the NFL one pass app to reserve your time.