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The Pro Bowl has a long history that football fans are quite familiar with. In essence the Pro Bowl takes the best players from all teams, and plays an “all-star” game facing off the two main conference in the NFL, which are the NFC and the AFC. The game is normally held after the Super Bowl. The very first Pro Bowl team was selected in 1938, and the game was played in January 1939 in Los Angeles. The game was moved each year to several stadiums around the country, before finding it’s home in 1980 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The game was played there for 30 years straight, until last year (2009,) where the game was moved to Miami Florida, at the Sun Life Stadium, which is the home stadium to the AFC team, the Miami Dolphins. Not only was the move unusual, but the NFL also decided to play the game before the Super Bowl rather than after, as had been the tradition since the late 1930’s. The move was not a popular one with players, team owners or football fans. One primary concern was that a key player could get injured prior to the Super Bowl, causing many of the best players to sit out of the game entirely.
Football fans love attending the game because events usually stretch out over an entire week, not to mention enjoying the beauty of Hawaii. Many run into their favorite players at hotel bars and pools. If you are interested in attending the Pro Bowl game, there are many packages to choose from, however there are a few keys things to keep in mind.
First of all, consider arriving a few days early if you want to take advantage of the free NFL experience. The NFL Experience offers lots of activities two days prior to the game. There are live performances by popular bands, players signing autographs, NFL cheerleaders, BBQs and lots of places to buy memorabilia.
The next thing to look for is the type of hotel accommodations being include with the package. Is the hotel rated three, four or five stars? How far is the hotel from the stadium, or is their transportation included in your price. Does your room have a view? All are factors that affect the price of the vacation.
The location of your tickets can also have an impact on pricing. Many standard packages come with end zone or upper section tickets. If you want a better view, consider buying a package that includes lower level tickets or perhaps even club level tickets which usually come with added amenities.
There is also a more exclusive event called the NFL pre-game Tailgate Party. Unlike the NFL experience, admission is not free, and can run over $200 pp. Included in the price of admission are plenty of food booths, reserved seating, an open bar that includes beers, soft drinks and wine, appearances by celebrities and popular NFL players, live entertainment and a commemorative gift. The pre-game party is held at Richardson Field right across the street from the stadium. It is a great way to spend time before the game with football fans from all over the country. Only a limited amount of tickets are available for this event, so make sure and book early if you are interested. Some packages build it into their prices, providing a better value than if you bought the tickets separately.
One company is offering a new experience for 2011, called a post-game NFL field experience. This will allow fans to walk on the field after the game and take pictures. It always gives a unique perspective to be on the field versus watching it from the stadium.
As always, make sure you are booking with a reputable company or travel agent. Ask for confirmations in writing before placing a deposit to ensure that everything noted on the website is being included in the final package.
Visit this sports page if you are interested in more information on Pro Bowl packages.
write by Jessica Reeder