Sneak Peek: Long Beach NFL Kickoff Experience
The National Football League kicks off the 2022 season in Long Beach on September 8 with the NFL Kickoff Experience, celebrating all things football, fun and music. The free event – open to the public – will feature games, interactive experiences and photo opportunities as well as a concert by J Balvin, one of world music’s best selling, most streamed artists.
The wide-ranging event, which will take up about 250,000-square-feet on Long Beach’s vast Alamitos Beach, begins at noon – hours before the season-opening, a Thursday night game between the Buffalo Bills and defending Super Bowl champion, the Los Angeles Rams, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
Though the NFL Kickoff Experience is free, it will be necessary for fans to register for tickets, which they can do by visiting NFL.com/2022kickoff.
A large crowd is anticipated to head to Alamitos Beach, located at the intersection of Shoreline Drive and Alamitos Avenue. Intersected by Long Beach’s popular bicycle and pedestrian path, Alamitos Beach is close to the city’s thriving downtown area.
“This not only gives us an opportunity to reach fans in Long Beach, but Alamitos Beach is also a great backdrop for it,” said Steve Farago, senior manager, NFL Events. “We know they’ve done concerts at Alamitos Beach before, and the Grand Prix occurs there on Shoreline Drive. The fact that it’s right next to the marina will, along with the palm trees, give a good sense of place to the event.”
The NFL Kickoff Experience offers fans plenty of photo opportunities, including the ability to snap selfies of themselves next to the Vince Lombardi Trophy, awarded annually to the Super Bowl champion, as well as a collection of all 56 championship rings – the Rams championship ring is made up of 20 carats of white diamonds.
“I think our events have evolved so that there is more focus on the personally-relevant capture of experiences,” said Nicki Ewell, senior director, NFL Events. “People want to show,' I’m here, you’re not' – you know, create that FOMO [fear of missing out]. And, of course, the event is super accessible since it is an absolutely free event, except for anything you might buy at the food concessions or merch tents.”
There will also be numerous interactive games and physical challenges allowing fans to feel what it’s like to compete in the NFL, including:
- The 40-Yard Dash (presented by Verizon), where competitors race down a field as the try to outrace opponents and NFL players on a giant LED wall.
- Field Goal Kick (presented by Snickers), where fans can feel what it’s like to kick one through the uprights.
- NFL Training Camp, that allows adults and kid to field a booming punt launched from a machine.
- Touch Pass that puts you in the cleats of an NFL quarterback trying to complete a pass over a defensive player and into a net.
- Gear Up & Go, which allows you to wear the rest of the uniform as you try on NFL equipment as you get ready for game time!