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NFL Experience a visual extravaganza of the Super Bowl

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From a photographer’s standpoint, walking into the NFL Super Bowl Experience (presented by Lowes) is visually short circuiting. I sat for about 30 minutes to take it all in, attempting to wrap my head around how I was going to document the event in a way that wasn’t to confusing to our Press Democrat readers. Renovation was just completed on the 1.43 million-square-foot Miami Beach Convention Center for $620 million. The convention floors add up to 500,000 square feet of solid exhibition space. Imagine walking from one end of a VERY LARGE cruise ship, and you have an idea how big the place is. Above the Experience is the media center, which is a little like stepping into television Shangri-La. Live sets for major networks, radio stations and whatever other media you can toss in and shake around. To top it off, there is a fan zone around the sets to add to the deliberate atmosphere of sports pandemonium.

Back to the Experience. Nearly every conceivable way you can present NFL’s biggest game has been perfected here. It’s an immersive hands-on experience, with a 40-yard dash — timed even — and a 50-yard football field where flag football games and clinics are held. There are also kicking and passing arenas, where a person needs to stand in line for about 10 minutes for a chance at personal glory in front of thousands of other like-minded individuals. Static displays that include the history of the NFL’s 100th season include helmets which have been bedazzled, replicas of players lockers, a section where footballs are made, Super Bowl rings, etc. The two most popular draws are where you can take your own picture with the Lombardi Trophy, and of course the above-mentioned 40-yard dash, where there was many a pulled hammy.

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