If you’re a football fan looking to get in on plenty of action surrounding the Super Bowl, officials in New York City are hoping that – despite the game actually being played in New Jersey – there’s plenty of “pre-game” fun to be had in their town. You may want to head to Super Bowl Boulevard, for starters. Workers have been working around the clock for weeks to erect the stopping spots, which are expected to allow what some describe as a “New Year’s Eve-like atmosphere” each of the days it’s open.
Playing host to the “Super Bowl Boulevard” means transforming 13 blocks of Broadway – the area from Times Square to Herald Square (between West 34th Street and West 47th Street) in Manhattan. It opens officially on Wednesday, January 29, and runs from noon to 10pm every day through Saturday. The streets have been closed off for pedestrian traffic only for the event duration. From the billboards to the streetlights, the sports vibe has taken over.
Sports fans, tourists and street gawkers alike will be able to walk the blocks to participate in multiple entertainment venues.
A Prized Break
You can head over to the “Lombardi Trophy” area, where you’ll be able to take advantage of the photo op. Autograph seekers may have a chance to get some of their favorite players to sign at sessions to be held from 12 to 6pm. Try your skill at kicking a field goal. Stages are ready for nighttime concerts. And the weather is in line with the “Toboggan Run.” At almost 60 feet in height and with a run of 180 feet, the venue is expected to be able to handle up to 1000 riders per hour. Tickets can be purchased for $5 through ticket kiosks along the streets and Ticketmaster.
Marketing Mania in New York City
As you can imagine, stores and restaurants in the area are also getting into the game, but Macy’s in Herald Square is living large with a line-up of events in the store, and outdoor entertainment all with the game in mind. The store has opened an official NFL Pop-up Shop on the 4th Floor, in which they’re touting interactive fan experiences, player appearances and a countdown clock to the game. A 10-minute video of NFL highlights from the field is set to be shown on the side of the store on Broadway starting from 5pm through 9pm (with screenings on the half-hour.). The windows reveal iconic football memorabilia– dollarswith a number of items highlighted that will be part of a live auction. And of course be ready with a full wallet if you intend to purchase any of the official NFL merchandise. Which also merits a mention to watch out for the bounty of counterfeit items that will inevitably also be found on the streets and in some non-sanctioned stores–just remember the motto, “you get what you pay for.”
Traveling to Super Bowl Boulevard in New York City
With large crowds expected, officials are encouraging travelers to use public transportation to get to the area – in the form of subways, buses and taxis. Do yourself a favor and take their advice. Unless, of course, you enjoy sitting in an idling car.
“You Make the Call” Gets Kids Involved
For families traveling with little ones who follow their parent’s habits and scream at the TV refs during game time, the NFL has teamed up with the Children’s Museum of Manhattan for an exhibit: “You Make the Call: Learn to Be an NFL Official.” The interactive exhibit allows kids to experience what it takes to be an NFL official, including watching the instant replay and making the ruling on the play, a dance that uses hand signals officials make, and getting a sneak peek into the control room.