Is The Super Bowl Fan Experience Worth It? We Went To The LA Convention Center To Find Out
For the majority of us who won't be playing in the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium on Feb. 13, there's still a chance for us to get our kicks (both figuratively and literally) at the Super Bowl Experience, which opens at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown on Saturday, Feb. 5.
How Much Does It Cost?
On the first weekend of the event, Feb. 5 and 6, everyone 13 and older can get in for $20. If you miss the first weekend, the event is open again Thursday, Feb. 10 through Saturday, Feb. 12, but you'll have to shell out $40 for a ticket. Kids 12 and younger get in free for the duration of the event.
There is an incentive to take Metro to the Convention Center — show your TAP pass at the box office and you'll get 50% off admission.
There is a premium option as well where you can pay $60 (all ages), which will get you priority access at activities like the Vince Lombardi Trophy photo exhibit, the autograph signing station and the different skills events and interactive games. There will also be food and drinks (including adult beverages) available for purchase at the event, as well as an NFL Shop with tons of Super Bowl LVI gear.
Organizers recommend registering and purchasing your tickets from the NFL One-Pass app.
What Are The COVID-19 Protocols?
Everyone over age 2 will be required to wear masks at all times, except when actively eating or drinking. You'll also have to provide either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test (PCR taken within 48 hours of going or antigen test within 24 hours) if you want to enter the venue.
You can find more information on safety protocols, testing and more here.
What Is There To Look At?
The short answer is — a lot! Event organizers tout more than 700,000 square feet of activities, and it truly feels massive walking through all the various exhibits and areas in the South Hall.
The first thing you'll see when you walk in is a chance to take a photo of yourself "wearing" your favorite team's jersey.
But there's plenty more to do than just take pictures. If you're feeling competitive, you can test your skills in a variety of football skills challenges for all ages.
For the kids, there's the NFL Play 60 Zone, which has arts & crafts, a station where you can try on real football gear, and a "kick, run, throw, defend" challenge where your little ones can try out some of football's most fundamental skills.
Don't worry, grown-ups, there's plenty for you as well. For the bling fans out there, you can check out a case filled with every Super Bowl ring ever made. They even have sliding magnifiers that you can use to get a closer look at all the diamonds — including the (then-St. Louis) Rams' ring from their 2000 Super Bowl victory.
I loved the Wilson football station, where they show you step by step how a football gets made by real employees from the company that makes the NFL's footballs.
I was lucky to be walking by as this pro was lacing up a football-in-the-making.
There's also an exhibit on the history of Super Bowl Halftime Shows, where they're showing off this year's performers ...
...and hearkening back to some of our favorites from years past. And what Halftime Show tribute would be complete without an appearance by Left Shark, from Katy Perry's 2015 halftime show.
How Can I Live My Dream Of Being A Gridiron Hero?
If you're feeling competitive, there's no shortage of skill competitions geared towards adults. You can test your arm throwing Hail Mary passes.
And for you speedsters, there's a 40-yard-dash station where you can compare your time to some of the fastest guys in the NFL. For reference, the fastest time ever recorded in the 40 yard dash is around 4.2 seconds.
But don't beat yourself up if you can't top it. The GOAT Tom Brady only ran his 40-yard dash in a sluggish 5.28 seconds. We recommend starting there — you could do worse than running faster than the best ever, right?
Ever watched a kicker kicking a field goal and said "I could do that"? Well, at the Super Bowl Experience, you can put your money where your mouth (or foot, I guess) is!
I'm sure you're wondering — did he try it? Of course I did. And anyone who tells you it's hard ...
...is absolutely right, and probably has never tried kicking it from 20 yards out.
There's also the ... Subway Signature Sandwich Experience? I honestly have no idea what was going on inside this vault and I did not have the courage to venture in and find out.
So, Is It Worth It?
We think so! At least on the first weekend at the $20 price point. But like with so many things in life, there are trade-offs. More people might go the first weekend to take advantage of the lower ticket prices, and because it's the opening weekend of the event, so you might pay less but have to deal with larger crowds, which means longer waits at the games and exhibits.
You pay a higher ticket price on the second weekend, but maybe you get lucky and the masses have come and gone in the first weekend, leaving a slightly less crowded venue for second-weekend attendees.