The Super Bowl is still more than a week away, but a Super Bowl tradition kicks off this weekend in Miami with the opening of the NFL Experience and Topps Super Bowl Card show. This year’s show will take place in the parking lot adjacent to Dolphin Stadium and will be open Saturday and Sunday before resuming Thursday-Sunday of next week.
More than 40 exhibitors will be on hand for the card show portion of the event, offering a variety of memorabilia and other collectibles. Between 40-50 current and former players are expected to be on hand to sign free autographs as well.
Event manager Pete Quaglierini of NFL Properties said more than 150,000 people are expected to attend the show. Since this is the first Bears team to make it to the Super Bowl in more than 20 years, and the first time the Colts franchise has been in the Super Bowl since the team moved to Indianapolis, Quaglierini is expecting very enthusiastic fans at the event.
“Whenever a team that hasn’t been in the Super Bowl for a long time makes it, and especially from a big-market area like Chicago, there’s just a buzz around the event for several days,” he said.
This will be the third time the NFL Experience has been held at Dolphin Stadium. The previous two events – Super Bowls XXIX and XXIII – each attracted crowds of more than 147,000 people.
Each of the NFL-licensed card companies will be offering a wrapper redemption program whereby collectors can receive one of four cards featuring a current or former Dolphins player in exchance for three unopened packs of that company’s 2006 football products. Each company will produce a card of Dan Marino for its redemption program.
Due to tightened security procedures, only fans with tickets to the game will be allowed entrance to the show on the day of the Super Bowl game.