ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex got a lot more packed Wednesday morning with the opening of NFL Pro Bowl Experience, the full fan fest offering games and fun activities from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The main attraction for the fans were on Fields 16 and 17, where the AFC and NFC teams conducted their first practice session for the week. Fans watched and cheered for their favorite players as they trained. Once training was complete, players signed autographs and took photos with fans and their children. The bleachers were awash with excited screams and hollers for superstars Von Miller (Denver Broncos), Richard Sherman (Seattle Seahawks), Mike Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys), Gerald McCoy (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), and many others.
Wednesday also marked the arrival of the USA Football Women’s World Competition, which brought 250 female football players from around the world to ESPN to begin practicing for their matches, which begin Friday. Additionally, the Special Olympics, in partnership with the NFL held a Special Olympics Flag Football friendly match at 2 p.m.
During that same hour, the NFC and AFC teams competed in the freshly renewed Skills Showdown event, which will air on ESPN 7 p.m. Thursday for the nation to watch.
NFL Pro Bowl Experience Activities:
- Disney Food Trucks – Enjoy selections from Disney’s theme parks and best restaurants in a “taste of the town” tailgate.
- EA SPORTS – Check out the EA SPORTS Madden NFL experience and get in the game with Madden NFL 17 and the free-to-play Madden NFL Mobile.
- Family Tailgate Photo Opp Presented by Ford Trucks – Snap a photo with your friends in front of an NFL tailgate set up
- Family Football Zone – An interactive area for kids and families to play together. Play catch in the field or take part in a range of football and tailgate-themed games.
- Long Snap Accuracy Challenge Presented by Verizon– Test your aim by long snapping footballs through a variety of obstacles.
- NFL Pro Bowl Trophy – Take a photo with the official NFL Pro Bowl Trophy.
- NFL Shop at Pro Bowl – Stop by for official NFL Pro Bowl merchandise and shop for your favorite NFL team gear at the NFL Shop trailer.
- Panini – Panini America, the exclusive physical trading card partner of the NFL, will give fans the opportunity to interact with their Panini Gridiron digital trading card app and make their own digital trading card. Fans can win packs of Panini NFL trading cards and get the Panini NFL Sticker Album.
- Run-A-Route – Test your wide receiver skills and run a see-and-react route to catch a pass down field.
- Touchdown Celebration GIF Booth presented by Aquafina – Immortalize your best touchdown celebration as a free, digital GIF.
- Wilson – Put yourself into the game with the Wilson X Connected Football, the world’s first smart football, get your very own Wx rating and find out how you stack up against your friends!
The players were amped up for the occasion.Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receivers told Florida National News that being in this year’s Pro Bowl was “a dream come true.” “It’s always a huge honor,” said Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman of playing in the Pro Bowl. “It’s great to be able to play with the guys and meet the fans.”
Mellissa Thomas is Editor of Florida National News.