A Guide To The 2019 NFL Kickoff Experience In Grant Park

Shannon Blum
September 05, 2019 - 9:09 am
Categories: 

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Football is back! And the Chicago Bears are not the only ones celebrating its 100th season.

The NFL is celebrating its 100th season on Thursday with the 2019 NFL Kickoff Experience in Grant Park. 

The 2019 NFL Kickoff Presented by EA Sports Madden NFL 20 brings fans NFL fans together for a massive celebration featuring appearances by Bears Legends and will offer photo ops with the Vince Lombardi Trophy and all 53 Super Bowl rings.  The show features live performances by Inspire Change advocates Meek Mill, Meghan Trainor, and Rapsody. 

The party continues with the first-ever NFL Kickoff Watch Party, beginning at 7 p.m., where thousands of fans can cheer on the Bears as they take on the Packers in another historic matchup to kick off the season.

Fans are encouraged to register for NFL OnePass to get updates and information on the event.

Here's a guide to help navigate and get the full experience of the 2019 NFL Kickoff.

When:

Thursday, Sept. 5 from noon to 10:30 p.m. Watch party begins at 7 p.m.

Where:

Grant Park

Cost: 

Free Admission

Access to the general public viewing area is limited and first-come, first-served. Fans do not need tickets to attend the free event.

Map:

Photo/Autograph Opportunities

Fans will have the chance to take a photo with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, according to NFL officials.

The event will also have a full collection of 53 Super Bowl rings to visit.

Legends Appearances: 

Autograph Stage
1-2 p.m. - Richard Dent
2-3:30 p.m. - Jim McMahon
4:15-5:45 p.m. - Matt Forte
6-7:30 p.m. - Charles Tillman

EA Madden Appearances
1-4 p.m. - Ahman Green
1-5 p.m. - Juicewrld
2-5 p.m. - Michael Vick
2-5 p.m. - Karl Ross
2-5 p.m. Chad Johnson
2-5 p.m. - Doug Sanders
2-5 p.m. - Devin Hester
4-5 p.m. Brian Urlacher

Marriot Appearances 
1-2:30 p.m. Matt Forte

Madden NFL 20 Experience at Grant Park:

NFL players Michael Vick, Chad Johnson, music artists, Twitch streamers and fans will compete in the “first-ever” EA SPORTS Madden NFL Twitch Prime Crown Cup, according to NFL officials.

Crown Cup Finals will begin at 4 p.m.

Performances

Guests can watch performances by headliners Meghan Trainor, Meek Mill and Rapsody at the Kickoff Main Stage.

Performance schedule:

  • Rapsody: 3 p.m.
  • Meghan Trainor: 5:15 p.m.
  • Meek Mill: 6:25 p.m.

A portion of both Meek Mill's and Meghan Trainor's performances will be featured in simulcast coverage of the 40-minute pregame show from Chicago from 7:30 – 8:10 p.m. ET on NBC and NFL Network.

Games/Attractions

To get the NFL training camp experience, games will be set up throughout the event.

NFL OnePass App Information: 

What is the NFL OnePass?

  • Download the NFL OnePass app for the ultimate experience, including event information, free-to-play games, a virtual event concierge, and a chance to win prizes! Available on the Apple Store and Google Play Store.
  • NFL OnePass is a FREE QR code you can use to scan and check-in at Kickoff Experience for a chance to win prizes, and receive photos and videos in the NFL OnePass app, or via email.

Games: 

  • Field Goal Kick presented by Lowe’s
    • Test your ability to kick a field goal through NFL uprights.
  • Hail Mary presented by EA Sports Madden NFL 20
    • Test your long-distance accuracy by throwing a deep pass over defenders into a drop-in net.
  • NFL Training Camp
    • Adults and children can experience the sensation of fielding a booming punt launched from an automatic machine.
  • NFL PLAY 60 Zone: Gear Up & Go NFLONEPASS
    • Try on NFL equipment and feel what it’s like to get dressed for gameday.

Attractions:

  • Autograph Stage at Kickoff presented by Panini NFLONEPASS
    • Get free autographs from NFL Legends. Schedule pending.
  • Bud Light Tavern
    • It’s the hottest place to drink a crisp beer and cheer on your team at the Kickoff Experience. Bud Light, Keepin’ it Crisp since 1982!
  • Look Like A Pro
    • Step inside a uniformed body-cast mold bearing the insignia of your favorite NFL team and have a friend snap your photo.
  • NFL Kickoff Experience Tailgate
    • Enjoy selections from some of Chicago’s best restaurants in a “taste of the town” tailgate.
  • NFL Kickoff Photo Frames
    • Take a picture in the Photo Frames for a unique keepsake.
  • NFL Museum
    • The NFL Museum features a full collection of 53 Super Bowl rings, the Vince Lombardi Trophy NFLONEPASS, and a NFL Auction NFLONEPASS 
  • Pepsi NFL Helmet Photo Opportunity
    • As you enter NFL Kickoff Experience, take your photo with your NFL team’s oversized helmet. Share your photos through your favorite social channel and Fan Mobile Pass.

NFL Shop:

  • NFL Shop at Kickoff presented by Visa Stop by NFL
    • Shop at Kickoff presented by Visa for the largest assortment of exclusive merchandise.

Sponsors:

  • Bose
    • Come experience 11 levels of noise cancelling with the new Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. You can test out the headphones by listening to Chicago Bears’ QB Mitchell Trubisky’s pregame playlist. All fans who try the product will receive a chance to win the Headphones 700, some exclusive Bears merchandise or even a pair of tickets to tonight’s Kickoff game!
  • Bud Light
    • “Nothing says the start of Football Season like a cold Bud Light at Kickoff. Come join us to celebrate the start of the season! Bud Light, Keepin’ it Crisp since 1982”
  • EA
    • Go head to head with NFL fans in the Madden NFL 20 Experience where fans can earn the chance to win a copy of Madden NFL 20, tickets to the big game and more!
  • Marriott
    • Courtyard by Marriott, the Official Hotel of the NFL and Marriott Bonvoy will bring its hospitality to the NFL Kickoff Experience, offering fans access to NFL stars, a taste of the Courtyard Bistro Bar and the opportunity to enter the Courtyard Super Bowl Sleepover Contest for a chance to wake up at the Super Bowl!
  • Panini
    • Panini, the exclusive trading card and sticker partner of the NFL, is the exclusive sponsor of the Autograph Stage. Make sure to stop by the Panini booth to get your very own digital trading card and grab official NFL trading cards to help start your collection!
  • Pepsi
    • Experience Pepsi mini cans in a big way. The Pepsi Mini Refreshment Trailer is an instagrammable, unique experience where fans can enjoy a cold mini can of Pepsi and hang out with friends.
  • Sleep Number
    • Sleep Smarter. Play Better. See how sleep impacts performance at the Sleep Number fan experience, featuring the Sleep Number 360 smart bed and interactive Plinko game with prizes and giveaways.
  • Verizon
    • Visit the Verizon 5G Fan Zone to get a glimpse into the future of football on Verizon 5G - the only 5G network powerful enough for the NFL.
  • Wilson
    • Come check out the Wilson Airstream Experience. Fans can personalize leather game balls or purchase the perfect Bears or Packers Wilson keepsake. Fans who stop by the booth will also get a first look at the Wilson Live App - a new fan platform that comes to life with the ‘scan’ of a football. It’s super cool and a whole new way to enjoy the game. #WilsonFootball - official football of the NFL since 1941.

Getting There

NFL officials are encouraging fans to use public transportation to attend this event.

Parking:

There is parking available directly under the action at the Millennium Garages. You can pre-purchase parking for the lowest rate.

Millennium Park Garage
5 S Columbus Dr.
Chicago, IL 60601

Grant Park North Garage
25 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60602

Grant Park South Garage
325 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60602

Public Transportation: 

CTA - From the elevated lines: exit at Adams/Wabash. From the subway: exit at Jackson and walk several blocks east. For travel information, visit www.transitchicago.com for CTA bus and train lines.

Metra - Visit www.metrarail.com for Metra train lines to/from Chicago suburbs.

*Please note some of the bus routes may be impacted by event date street closures.

Rideshare:

Rideshare pre-event drop-off will take place at the intersection of Michigan Ave. and Ida B. Wells Parkway., and post-ever pick-up at the intersection of Columbus Ave. and Balbo Ave.

Biking:

Bike parking is available on the perimeter of Grant and Millennium Parks.

Street Closures:

  • Columbus Drive from Balbo to Jackson will be closed through Sept. 6
  • Ida B Wells/Congress Plaza Drive from Michigan to Columbus will be closed through Sept. 7
  • East Congress Plaza Drive from Harrison to Van Buren will be closed after morning rush hour on Sept. 5 until noon on Sept. 5

Safety

ADA:

The Kickoff Experience is accessible to guest of all abilities. There is a mobility assistance riser in the general viewing area that is first come, first served.

First Aid:

There is a first-aid station at Kickoff Experience in Grant Park on Columbus Drive towards Jackson Street.

Prohibited Items:

  • Animals (except assistive animals)
  • Backpacks or luggage of any kind
  • Banners or signs (any object that obstructs the view of others)
  • Battery operated clothing (socks, jackets, etc.)
  • Beach balls, balloons, or other inflatable devices
  • Bottles, cans, thermoses, cups and beverage containers of any kind (empty and reusable water bottles will be allowed)
  • Camcorders
  • Cigarettes, e-Cigarettes, tobacco products, any smoking devices
  • Coolers of any size
  • Containers of any type and size (aerosol cans, bottles, etc.)
  • Chairs, stools or other seating devices
  • Firearms
  • Fireworks or pyrotechnics of any kind
  • Frisbees
  • Illegal substances
  • Mace / Pepper Spray
  • Missile like objects
  • Motorized scooters
  • Noise makers and horns
  • Poles and sticks
  • Pom poms
  • Shakers with handles
  • Skateboards
  • Selfie sticks
  • Tripods
  • Umbrellas (large golf)
  • Weapons of any type
  • Whistles 

Bags:

The NFL strongly encourages fans NOT to bring any type of bag to the Kickoff Experience. There will be a clear bag policy in place at this event.

Lost and Found:

For any lost items, please visit Fan Services at Kickoff Experience, located at the intersection between S. Columbus Dr. and Ida B. Wells Parkway in Grant Park

 

The Chicago Bears will take on the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on Thursday Sept.5 at 7:20 p.m.