Super Bowl week about giving the Arizona fan base an experience
Making sure that the local fan base builds excitement for Super Bowl week — and that the experience meets their expectations — is a point of emphasis for the NFL.
This year, the league’s task is to do so in Arizona, as State Farm Stadium will host the game on Feb. 12.
While fans and business personnel travel from all around the country to attend, local fans remain a priority –– even if their team isn’t playing.
“[We] really have focused a lot in recent years of making sure the local fan base has a lot that they can experience,” NFL executive vice president of club, business and league events Peter O’Reilly told Dave Burns on The Official Super Bowl Host Committee Show. “There’s commonalities [between locals and visitors] of things that just come back to love of [football].”
The NFL has several events scheduled during the week before the game. Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix will host activities during Super Bowl week.
Among other events are the Super Bowl Experience and Super Bowl Opening Night. One part of the Super Bowl Experience takes place at the Phoenix Convention Center.
“That’s kind of the NFL’s theme park, if you will,” O’Reilly said. “It opens that weekend before the Super Bowl.
“That’s just everything you could imagine. The Lombardi Trophies, the rings, running the 40-yard dash … things for everybody, all ages.”
O’Reilly recommended local fans, especially ones with families, attend Super Bowl events earlier on in the week because lines will be shorter and people from out of town won’t be there yet. They also are welcome to attend Super Bowl Opening Night, which is the media day before the game.
That takes place on Monday night during Super Bowl week. So, again, there won’t be many people from outside markets in town yet.
“That can kind of be owned by the locals as well,” O’Reilly said. “The energy, obviously, hits a crescendo later in the week, and you want to be part of that … but early is good … kids are free [admission].”