The eyes of millions of NFL fans worldwide will be on a big party in Downtown Long Beach on Thursday, September 8; That is when the National Football League will be celebrating the first game of the 2022 season by hosting the NFL Kickoff Experience at Alamitos Beach. 

The multi-faceted event starts at noon and leads up to the evening’s season opener between the Buffalo Bills and our defending Super Bowl Champs, the Los Angeles Rams. Admission is FREE! Attendees must pre-register online at NFL.com/2022kickoff

In addition to many football-related attractions, including numerous interactive games and physical challenges, festival goers will be treated to a concert by international music superstar J Balvin (his dancefloor banger “Mi Gente” has three BILLION hits on YouTube), of which portions will be broadcast during the pregame show on NBC and NFL Network.  

“We look forward to seeing the local community show up and show out for the NFL Kickoff Experience,” said Peter O’Reilly, NFL Executive Vice President, Club Business and League Events. “Long Beach offers an incredible backdrop to kick off the 2022 season, providing fans with a unique, SoCal-style festival atmosphere to gather and celebrate the return of football together.”

A huge crowd is expected to flock to the vast beach, spending the entire day basking in the ocean breeze and electrifying pregame atmosphere. Those who wish to showcase their football skills can participate in the following events:                                                                                                                  

  • The 40-Yard Dash (presented by Verizon), where competitors sprint down a field as they try to outrace opponents and NFL players projected on a giant LED wall.
  • Field Goal Kick (presented by Snickers), where fans can feel what it’s like to boot a three-pointer through the uprights.
  • NFL Training Camp, which allows adults and kids to field a booming punt launched from a machine.
  • Touch Pass, which puts you in the cleats of an NFL quarterback trying to complete a pass over a defensive player and into a net.
  • Gear Up & Go, which allows you to try on a complete NFL uniform as you get ready for game time!

The NFL Kickoff Experience also offers fans the chance to take selfies next to the Vince Lombardi Trophy and a collection of all 56 championship rings, including the one earned by the Rams, which is made up of 20 carats of white diamonds.

After J Balvin’s 4pm concert, fans are invited to stay and watch the game on the big screens. Food and drink concessions are available onsite throughout the day, but for those who would like to continue their Kickoff Experience by relaxing at a table and watching the game over a great meal and some cold beverages, Downtown Long Beach offers all kinds of eatery and drinkery options within close walking distance of Alamitos Beach. 

Parking is available in Downtown including at the Pike garage. Scooters are also available but  not allowed on the beach path. 

Several establishments in the East Village, Waterfront, Pine Avenue, and Promenade will be showing the game and offering some enticing specials. Plan the evening’s playbook by calling your favorite spots ahead of time to learn about their special offers, or create your game plan on the spot in an improvised Downtown journey. Either way, you will find plenty of hospitality and enthusiasm in Downtown that day, whether you are a football fan, a music lover, or simply someone who wants to experience the thrill of a new, high-profile event in Downtown Long Beach.