Super Bowl Weekend Guide: All You Need to Know So You're Prepared
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to buy Super Bowl tickets and attend the biggest sporting event of the year in person, you know that the Super Bowl is more than a game. It’s an event and experience unlike any other. In the days leading up to the game, there are countless other activities for fans to enjoy. While Super Bowl 55 will be a little different, there will still be plenty of things for fans to do during Super Bowl weekend prior to the game. If you’re hoping to attend this year’s Super Bowl, here is a look at all of the fun events you should know about.
Super Bowl Experience
The centerpiece of the pre-Super Bowl activities is the aptly named Super Bowl Experience. Whether you have a ticket to the game or not, everyone is invited to the Tampa Riverwalk starting on Friday, January 29, more than a week before the Super Bowl. All of the parks along the Riverwalk will host various activities, as well as local food and beverage vendors. In a twist, this will be the first time this annual event free to the general public.
The Riverwalk itself is 2.7 miles long, which should be enough to fill an entire day or keep visitors coming back for more activities and entertainment every day. For instance, Julian B. Lane Park will become a football theme park in the days before the Super Bowl. There will be countless games and exhibits, including the Vince Lombardi Trophy, as well as actual Super Bowl rings on display. Famous players from yesteryear will also be present at the Super Bowl Experience, posing for pictures with fans and signing autographs.
The other parks along the Riverwalk will also host concerts, health and fitness activities, and youth football clinics. There will even be a virtual reality experience that allows guests to test themselves in the vertical jump and 40-yard dash against NFL players. With plenty of food, drink, and merchandise options, it’s the ultimate Fan Fest. The Super Bowl Experience will run from January 29 to January 31 and then start again on Wednesday, February 3, running through Saturday, February 6.
Another great tradition during Super Bowl weekend is the Players Tailgate on the day of the game. Much like the week-long Super Bowl Experience, you don’t need a ticket to the game to attend the tailgate party. It’s a separate event that will be hosted just outside the security perimeter of Raymond James Stadium, so it’s a short walk into the stadium if you’re attending the game. Otherwise, the tailgate party will wrap up in time for you to head elsewhere to watch the game.
A ticket to the Players Tailgate costs $875, although that’s a fair price to pay for all that entry to the party gets you. For starters, you’ll have a chance to mingle with over two dozen active NFL players, not to mention other celebrities and prominent media personalities. Meanwhile, the food available is bound to be better than the food at any other Super Bowl party you’ve ever attended. The food is prepared by celebrity chefs who create gourmet dishes in an all-you-can-eat setting. The likes of Guy Fieri, Akira Back, and Antonia Lofaso are among the famous chefs who will prepare food for the Players Tailgate. Just for good measure, there is also a premium bar and DJ at the tailgate party.
Super Bowl 55 Hip Hop Party
The night before The Big Game, one of the best parties in town will be the Super Bowl 55 Hip Hop Party at the Sons of Italy Lodge. The highlight of the party will be 95 South, an old-school hip-hop duo known best for their hit song “Whoot, There It Is.” There is no question that this particular song will be performed at least once during the night. Local artist Rated R and DJ Shizm will also be part of the entertainment. General admission tickets start at $55, with reserve seats available for $100. There is also a VIP option for $200 which includes free food, three drink tickets, access to slot machines, and a party with the artists. The fun gets started at 8:30 on February 6, in what could be the best Super Bowl-eve party.
Big Game Party with a Purpose
The day before the Super Bowl, consider spending the afternoon at Zoo Tampa for a charity event. The Athletes/Artists + Causes Foundation is hosting the event, which is centered around 55 statues that will be sold via a silent auction to benefit the Global Offensive Against Trafficking (GOAT). Since the event is being hosted at the zoo, there will be live animal interactions, not to mention special guest appearances, sports memorabilia being auctioned, and plenty of food and drinks available. The Big Game Party with a Purpose is at a great location and will support a good cause, adding a unique twist to your Super Bowl weekend.
Game Day Prep
When the big day comes, make sure you’re prepared with all of the important details for attending the Super Bowl. For starters, Super Bowl 55 is at Raymond James Stadium, which is located about five miles northwest of downtown Tampa. The game is scheduled to start around 6:30 on Sunday, February 7. Of course, it never hurts to arrive early to check out all of the pre-game pageantry. Ride-sharing options are available, although Raymond James Stadium has ample parking spaces. Finally, if you don’t have tickets already, don’t sweat it. Secondary market sites like Gametime have plenty of Super Bowl tickets available, even if you’re still looking on the day of the game. For more information, check out our comprehensive Super Bowl ticket buying guide.