The NFL Experience is open now in Times Square.
By Jon Ben-Zvi
Located on the corner of 47th Street in Manhattan is a new must-see attraction for any sports fan. The aptly titled NFL Experience allows tourists of all ages to step into the world of the National Football League with a combination of behind glass displays and interactive elements.
The “experience” begins in a gallery dedicated to the NFL’s 32 teams and their history. The wall is covered in displays with assorted team memorabilia, ranging from signed game-used gear, to cheerleading outfits, to cheeseheads and terrible towels, with everything in between. Throughout the middle of the gallery is “The 32”; large digital tabletop screens that allow you to look through each franchise’s history, including videos of their greatest plays and vote in a poll on their greatest players. Once you complete the gallery you enter “The Stadium.”
The Stadium is a 4D movie and ride that allows you to see and feel like real football players do. Moving seats that twist and turn with three selectable different levels of intensity, as well as fake snow falling from the sky, make this part of The Experience extremely well done and truly unique. I would recommend going to The Stadium if it were its own private venue, that’s how enjoyable it was. Once the movie is over you enter the more interactive part of the space.
Next on your journey is “Suit Up”. Suit Up starts off with a look at the equipment used by NFL players before a miniature NFL Combine of sorts, where you take on an offensive line drill and test your vertical jump before taking your picture and showing off your touchdown moves. After you’ve suited up you continue on to “Game Plan,” in which legendary former NFL coach and current ESPN broadcaster Jon Gruden teaches you how to run a play. Once you feel like you’ve mastered the play you enter the huddle in an interactive activity in which you must call the play, and make the correct read to throw the touchdown. Following this you enter the “Quarterback Challenge” where you combine accuracy, timing, and velocity as you throw real footballs to your favorite players from a distance.
When you complete the QB Challenge you have officially won the Super Bowl! You get to take a fun photo with Gatorade being dumped on you before advancing to a display featuring all the Super Bowl rings in history. After you’re done admiring how many diamonds they can fit on one ring you get to create a touchdown celebration GIF, before entering a beautiful gift shop and food court.
The NFL Experience was truly an incredible one. The exhibits are extremely well done, and the interactive parts are loads of fun. I would highly recommend The NFL Experience for anyone looking for an enjoyable time, as even the most casual fans will find something to love. Tickets are a bit pricey, but if you can spare the cash, definitely check it out. You may even run into a player appearance. Eli Manning himself recently visited the building on an off day.