Matt Smith 2017-01-24 23:16:40
Houston is primed to give football fans the ultimate super bowl experience Houston is ready for the spotlight, the moment when all eyes turn to the city for Super Bowl LI. The game, played on February 5 at NRG Stadium, is the main attraction, but visiting fans and media have the chance to experience far more than a football game. EXPERIENCE THE EXCITEMENT AT SUPER BOWL LIVE PRESENTED BY VERIZON Building up to Super Bowl LI, Houston will host plenty of fun events and activities for football fans. Houston’s Discovery Green park will soon welcome more than 1 million football fans as part of the 9-day Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon fan festival. The free festival will start January 28 and run until gameday, February 5. METRORail and other public transportation options will provide quickand- easy access from parking areas located near Discovery Green and elsewhere in the city. Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon will feature free concerts by some of the biggest names in music, Houston’s acclaimed food scene, fan games, and many other attractions. The festival is expected to be larger than last year's San Francisco’s Super Bowl City held for Super Bowl 50. Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon will occupy Discovery Green as well as four additional blocks south of the downtown park area, providing approximately 750,000 square feet of activation space—the equivalent of 13 football fields. The event site at Discovery Green will have a concert stage, several food and beverage areas, a community-accessible football field, and a special area dedicated to celebrating Houston. “Our goal is to have a site that anyone can come out to experience and be a part of the excitement,” said Todd Holloman, Houston Super Bowl Host Committee Vice President of Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon. “Super Bowl fans will come in celebration of the Super Bowl, while families can come out and enjoy entertainment and the social hub that Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon will provide.” “WOW” FACTOR TAKES GUESTS TO MARS AND BACK The attraction Future Flight will be what the Host Committee is calling the festival’s “wow” factor. Featuring a virtual reality experience and numerous hands-on space exhibits, Future Flight will take visitors on an incredible journey to Mars and beyond. “The Host Committee has declared Super Bowl LI as the Super Bowl of the future in the City of the Future,” said Sallie Sargent, President and CEO of the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee. “Nothing says future more than deep space travel. The Host Committee is thrilled to partner with NASA and the leading space industry companies to create the Future Flight experience for people to enjoy during Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon.” Future Flight’s key component is a virtual reality ride that takes guests on an excursion through space to the Red Planet and back, using actual footage from Mars. Guests don virtual reality goggles for the two-minute, 10-second ride. It concludes with a 90-foot drop that transports the rider visually from Mars back to Earth, landing on the 50-yard line of NRG Stadium. For guests who prefer not to experience the 90-foot drop, there will be a special presentation area outside the attraction where they can experience the virtual reality portion of Future Flight. NASA, leading aerospace companies, and the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration are working together to share the exciting story of America’s current efforts in space travel and deep space science, which will reveal valuable discoveries and transport humans to other planets. As a result of this collaboration, Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon will feature a one-of-a-kind interactive experience for visitors. “The space industry is one of Houston’s vital sectors, featuring some of the country’s brightest professionals in science and engineering,” said Dr. Ellen Ochoa, Director of the NASA Johnson Space Center. “Future Flight allows the public to experience a journey through space that is normally experienced only by select individuals.” Fans who are looking for even more football fun and entertainment can head over to NFL Experience Driven by Genesis, pro football’s ticketed, interactive area with games, guest appearances, and more. It will be housed next to Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon in the George R. Brown Convention Center. NFL Experience Driven by Genesis will feature interactive games and sponsor attract ions, playerautograph sessions, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, an exclusive Super Bowl rings display, and more. Young fans can participate in interactive games in the NFL PLAY 60 Zone and watch and learn during on-field clinics (open to kids ages 6 to 14). TAKING THE SUPER BOWL EXPERIENCE ON THE ROAD Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon and NFL Experience Driven by Genesis offer fans a chance to be part of the Super Bowl LI excitement in the days leading up to Super Bowl LI, but Houstonians have been feeling the excitement for months thanks to the Touchdown Tour. Best described as a traveling celebration of football, the Touchdown Tour has been taking the Super Bowl experience on the road to Houstonians since its kickoff event at Space Center Houston on August 27. The event is free to the public and features interactive games, a Houston Texans mobile locker room, photo booths, prize giveaways, music, and other fun. The Touchdown Tour made weekend stops at parks throughout the city during the fall. The final destination will be at Alief Community Park on January 14. “The Houston Super Bowl Host Committee and the City of Houston are committed to giving all residents an unparalleled Super Bowl experience,” said Sargent. “We want to bring the excitement of Super Bowl LI into the community, and Mayor Turner and the City of Houston have been instrumental in turning this vision into a reality.” TELLING HOUSTON’S STORY TO A GLOBAL AUDIENCE Super Bowl LI provides an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Houston to the hundreds of thousands of football fans coming to the city and the several millions who will be watching the Super Bowl worldwide. To help tell that story, the Greater Houston Partnership teamed with Houston First Corporation and the Houston Super Bowl LI Host Committee to launch a social media campaign called #TeamHouston. Local businesses, the hospitality industry, and the general public have been sharing Houston’s story via social media posts that emphasize the city’s unique qualities: Diverse, Fun, Affordable and Full of Opportunity. The Partnership is asking residents to share the story with family, friends, and visitors, and to be a part of the team by using #TeamHouston on social media. Over the remaining days leading up to Super Bowl LI, the campaign will continue to be promoted through social media, events, and activities around Houston. “We are all champions for Houston and our region,” said Greater Houston Partnership President and CEO Bob Harvey. “What better time than now, and what bigger stage than the Super Bowl LI, to tell Houston’s amazing story to a worldwide audience?” THE SUPER BOWL OF THE FUTURE, IN THE CITY OF THE FUTURE The city that fans will see during Super Bowl LI is significantly unlike the one they saw 12 years ago, when Houston last hosted the game. The Houston of today has one of the youngest, fastest-growing, and most diverse populations anywhere in the world. The Houston metro population has grown by 1.5 million people since 2004. “For Visit Houston, Super Bowl LI provides a unique opportunity to showcase our destination in the global spotlight,” said Mike Waterman, President of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The last time we hosted the Super Bowl, in 2004, Houston was a very different place. We are a more advanced and sophisticated city than we have ever been, and that means we are also a more attractive destination.” Host Committee members are optimistic that fans will see Houston as a city of the future. “Houston represents not only what the country will look like in the coming decades demographically, but also the energy, ingenuity, and drive that this city will display in 2017 will serve as a beacon to draw people back to Houston long after the game is played,” said Sargent. At the February 2016 unveiling ceremony for the Super Bowl LI countdown clock at NRG Stadium, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner stressed how Super Bowl LI will be Houston’s chance to show the world its diversity, culture, and innovation. “It’s our opportunity to tell our story, and to let them know that in Houston, we dream big and we make big things happen. We are a can-do city,” said Mayor Turner. “This is an oil and gas town, and it always will be, but we’re so much more than that,” he continued. “When they come to Houston, they’ll see space, they’ll see diversity, and they’ll also get some Southern hospitality—that’s something we’ve never lost.” He added, “It’s my belief that when people come to our area for Super Bowl LI, they will be surprised by what they see, and they will be so wowed that they won’t be in a hurry to leave. In fact, if they leave, they will only leave to pick their bags up and come back again.”
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