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55 Things You Need to Know When Super Bowl 55 Comes to Tampa Bay

Before we “Raise the Flags” and “Fire the Cannons” –because our very own Tampa Bay Buccaneers are making history as they get ready to play on home turf on February 7th, 2021 (AKA Super Bowl Sunday)– Tampa Bay Bucs fans and sport fans alike will be coming out to participate in many of the “Experiences” that are being offered all over town to help celebrate this monumental event for Tampa Bay! This is the Super Bowl!!!

With over 25 years of being in the event industry, I love getting a chance to take a deeper look into the logistics of these events and giving my friends tips on how to make it smooth when their family visits. (That’s why I write my blog {} and keep myself -and YOU- in the know via my Instagram and Twitter pages!)

super bowl events in tampa with tampa mama

My family at Super Bowl Experience.

I walk these events like it’s my job, looking for all this things I would have wanted to know BEFORE I bought tickets and dragged my kids with me. Would I have even gone if I had known “ THAT”? I hope that my tips will help you have the best time!

The Super Bowl Experience events along Tampa’s Riverwalk are free and open to the public and I’ve got 55 SUPER TIPS to help you navigate and plan your trip!

These are all the things you should “know before you go” (especially with kids) to the Downtown Campus of the NFL. (And if you are looking for tips on how to score tickets to the Super Bowl, good luck because 98% of the City of Tampa is too).

Oh, and it pretty much goes without saying for those of us who call Tampa Bay home…don’t forget the sunscreen because it’s a beautiful sunshiny day!!

Welcome to Tampa Bay!!! This Tampa Mama is glad you are here!

  1. The “MAIN” Super Bowl Experience event is at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. This is by reservation only via the NFL One Pass and it is officially “sold out” and has all reservation slots booked. There will be no walkups since the event is at capacity according to organizers, HOWEVER, we have heard people are getting in via a standby line, but entry is not guaranteed. A lot of people have had luck though. The OnePass app recently updated to say walkups will be permitted on Wednesday and Thursday, but NOT the final two days on Friday and Saturday. The event is open Wed and Thurs from 3pm-10pm.
  2. You must download the NFL OnePass app in the app store or by visiting in order to visit any experience.
  3. Children under 18 do not need to download this app as the main adult in your party will need it.
  4. Fans do NOT need to register for a reservation for Curtis Hixon Park and Technology Village, those only require a OnePass QR code. It is first come, first served.
  5. HOWEVER- there is a “stand by lane” where you can inquire about entering so if you do not have tickets, this could mean you possibly could still get it.
  6. The additional “Super Bowl Experience” events at Curtis Hixon and Technology Village do NOT have all the “fun NFL type games” for kids that the main NFL Experience has at Julian B. Lane. (I did think that the NFL One Pass app was confusing in this nature.)
  7. Masks are required for all attendees at ANY of these events and yes, even on Tampa’s Riverwalk, too. (Read Executive Order here.)
  8. Masks with valves or vents are not permitted, and face shields must be worn with a face covering. Masks are required at entry and within the Super Bowl Experience except when actively eating and drinking in a designated concessions zone.
  9. Yes- that does mean keeping them on for pictures!
  10. No players will be in attendance, however you can snag a virtual autograph with a player via the NFL ONE PASS app.
  11. Want to know what there will be to eat inside the NFL Experience? Check out the menu here. Cash will not be accepted on site anywhere, so leave it at home and bring the card.
  12. Additionally, there are local Food Trucks too!
  13. So many cool photo ops and yes, even with the REAL Lombardi Trophy!
  14. Yes- beer and alcohol will be sold and yes, you can walk all throughout the event with them. ($14 for a tall boy of Budlight!)
  15. Points of entry for guests at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park are on the North side on Laurel Street and on the southwest side of the park, on North Blvd., just north of Tampa Prep.
  16. Bags will be screened and you will walk through metal detectors.
  17. A list of prohibited items are here. While outside food and beverage is not allowed, we asked and were told you can bring snacks for babies/kids and a refillable water bottle/sippy cup for little ones.
  18. Once inside, you will need your NFL One Pass before you participate in games. If you have teens in your group and are allowing them to roam the event with fiends, you’ll need to screenshot your NFL One Pass QR code and text them this image. That is the code volunteers will scan before they play. Here’s a complete list of games and attractions.
  19. Strollers are permitted in all experiences. Along with diaper bags and refillable water bottles.
  20. PortOLets are cleaned after every use! And there’s ALOT OF THEM inside the events!
  21. PARKING! According to the NFL “The Super Bowl Experience presented by Lowe’s runs the 2.7 miles along the Tampa Riverwalk so please secure parking in the lots along the Riverwalk.”
  22. ACTUAL PARKING ADVICE: Downtown, Armature Works, or street parking near the Straz or Water Works Park will be your best bet. There’s a new Shuttle Service too–see route here.
  23. The Laurel Street Bridge is closed to traffic. Pedestrians will walk from the Tampa Riverwalk (the East) and cross the River to the NFL Experience and there is an entry point on Laurel Street.
  24. There are no bike valets, so should you bike, you’ll be locking up your bike at your own risk.
  25. There is a public WIFI network: SSID: #SBWIFI
  26. With everything requiring the use of digital apps, I recommend bringing an extra battery for your phone! Be on the look out for the TECO Solar wireless charging station picnic tables.
  27. CBS Sports is set up to broadcast at Armature Works.
  28. Tampa’s Riverwalk is 2.7 miles long.
  29. You can pay to take the Pirate Water Taxi to get you up and down the Hillsborough River. Stops are made at every main point of interest and a map can be found here.
  30. WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING IN TAMPA’S DOWNTOWN THAT IS FREE OR I SHOULD KNOW ABOUT: A lot! Just walking the Riverwalk is an experience. Hop on a scooter or bring your bike to stroll the length of 2.7 miles!
  31. FREE FIREWORKS! The Jose Gasparilla ship will be docked near the Taaampaa Convention Center Friday and Saturday nights only (January 29th and 30th and Feb. 5th and 6th) shooting off fireworks at 6:55, 7:55, 8:55 and 9:55pm! If you’ve seen fireworks from Gasparilla, you know that they are viable all along Bayshore Blvd.
  32. Prime seating would be anywhere along the River near the Tampa Convention Center, The Sail Pavillion, Harbour Island or standing along Bayshore Blvd. You can also view from the Lost Pearl Pirate Ship during one of their special event sailings. (See #34)
  33. Parking near the south end of the Riverwalk is recommended at Pam Iorio Parking Garage near Amalie Arena, valet at the JW Marriott or Marriott Waterside, the Tampa Convention Center or the parking lots under the Selmon Expressway.
  34. What else is fun for kids to do? Lots! Book a 45- minute cruise to see the fireworks (4 days only) on board the Lost Pearl Pirate ship! Adults $20, kids $15! Book here: Big Game Pirate Fireworks Cruise | The Lost Pearl
  35. Walk the Riverwalk at night! Lights On Tampa has their light installation as you walk under the Harbour Island Bridge near Sail Pavilion.
  36. There are some very cool projections on the Sykes Building you won’t want to miss at Curtis Hixon Park!
  37. Rent an e-boat for the day and roam the Hillsborough River! 10 passengers max! Near the Tampa Convention Center: eBoats Tampa – Electric Boat Rental and Tours
  38. There is an official NFL Shop set up inside Armature Works!
  39. There is also an official NFL Merch shop outside the Tampa Convention Center near Sail Pavilion too!
  40. Water Works Playground, Curtis Hixon Playground and Cotanchobee Park all have free playgrounds for kids along the Riverwalk.
  41. The Glazer Children’s Museum and The Florida Aquarium will be open as usual! Great places to visit with the kids! Check website for details.
  42. Armature Works and Ulele have great lawn spaces for guests to grab drinks and food and just relax while kids play!
  43. Urban Kai at Armature Works has rentable paddle boards and kayaks for you to use on the River!
  44. Make reservations at Ulele! Valet parking makes it easy to dine! (I recommend the charbroiled oysters!!!)
  45. Armature Works will not being showing the big game but will have a “Tailgate Party” with details here:
  46. Pedego Tampa has set up electric bike rentals from Armature Works. $20 per hour and $75 for the day. “Just like a bike but only better”
  47. Meat Market Tampa in Hyde Park Village is serving up a four course meal served by the quarter for $150 and you can watch the big game on 6 giant screens!
  48. The TECO Streetcar will operate until 2am on Friday and Saturday through Feb.7th.
  49. Technology Village also requires the NFL ONE PASS app to enter and there will be music, food, drinks and more there too!
  50. The Sail Plaza has extended hours: January 29- Feb. 3 11am to 12am and February 4-7th 11am to 2am!
  51. Tampa’s first 5-star hotel the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street is now open! And there’s a skybridge on the third floor that connects it to the Marriott Water Street too!
  52. Have drinks at SIX which is the new outdoor bar at the lux JW Marriott Tampa Water Street as you an be tucked away from the crowds (but surly not for long as more people begin to find out my hidden spots in Tampa.)
  53. Then walk the skyway to have dinner at the outdoor restaurant Anchor & Brine (inside and on the water the Marriott Water Street along the Hillsborough River) which has gorgeous views and delicious food!
  54. You’ll find live music most nights at Sparkman Wharf! Follow them on for all the details.
  55. Just come down to Tampa Riverwalk and explore! Park at Armature Works and walk South along the Tampa Riverwalk! Grab a coffee first from Union inside Armature Works! You’ll have an amazing time if you don’t have the app and all you want to do is walk the city! Park. Walk. Enjoy! I am sure you will have the best day!

Super Bowl Experience Tampa Riverwalk

*Photo courtesy of the NFL.

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Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay where she still freelances on occasion. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.

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