I have been a fan of the game of football since childhood, and one of the things I always wanted to do was to have the Super Bowl in my town. Growing up near Nashville, TN, the chances were slim to none. Many argued that the city did not have the infrastructure in place to support such a venue. But that did not keep me from wanting to be a part of the event.
Super Bowl after super bowl, I listened to radio heads such as Jim Rome, Mike & Mike, and other sports analyst do radio row leading up to the big game. And I wanted so much to be among the atmosphere. To be apart of media day, and have all the fanfare in my town.
This year, by the grace of God, I was in Atlanta right when the super bowl would be hosted in this city. And I knew that I had to take this opportunity to enjoy the moment. So in the words of Thanos, “And now, it’s here. Or should I say, I am (here)”.
Leading up to the big game, there are two weeks between the conference championship games and the super bowl. Back in January 2003 (Super Bowl 37) the NFL played the Super Bowl a week after the conference championship, since then there have been a two week period between the last game of the conference playoffs and the super bowl. As a fan of the game I wished the game (super bowl) was played right after, but now I am glad that there is a two week period in between. Having two weeks not only allow the teams, media personnel, and security the extra time to prepare, but it allows the residence of the city a week to enjoy some of the venues, before the crowd arrives.
I took advantage of that by checking out the Super Bowl NFL Experience. This is a goto event for fans. Hall of Fame busts, super bowl rings, and the ability to get a closer look at the game is a football fan’s dream. Add in a few technological additions, utilizing VR, and the day is golden, especially for families. And the benefit to going a week before the crowd arrive, is that you avoid the long lines.
The Monday before the super bowl is when some of the fans and media personnel starts filing in. Little by little fans, personnel, and teams file in, and the week that we all been waiting for is here. Of course it doesn’t come without issues. Roads blocked off and closed, sex trafficking, and congestion are just some of the issues surrounding the event. Despite that, every day their is an event, concert, or party. The city is said to make up to 500 million dollars during that two week period (though some would argue that number to be inflated). This opens the door for a lot of businesses to bring in outside money to build up their community. Restaurants, drivers, and supermarkets will benefit from the influx of people in town for the game.
The day is finally here. Fans of both teams, as well as football fans in general, surround the stadium and nearby venues. And as the event gets closer more people arrive to be part of the festivities. Fans, friends, former players, break bread in preparation for kickoff.
But the city never sleeps and as crowds pile in, some see this as an opportunity to make money (selling any and everything), get recognized, and even look for sympathy. This is game day, and we are all here to see one thing, the big game. People from as far as the other side of the globe, travel for the right to watch a 2-3 hour game where the lowest ticket prices hover in the $3000 range. This is what it looks like to have the super bowl in your town.