Super Bowl LI week to kick off with Opening Night
HOUSTON — Are you ready for some football? Or, more accurately, are you ready for some questions possibly related to football?
Paying fans will be in attendance to watch that very spectacle.
On Monday, Super Bowl Opening Night — which once upon a time was just known as “Media Day” — will kick off the weeklong festivities surrounding Super Bowl LI in Houston.
For the second consecutive year, coaches and players from both Super Bowl teams will be answering questions from the media in prime time. The event starts at 7 p.m. local time (8 p.m. ET) at Minute Maid Park, home of MLB’s Houston Astros. It will be televised live on NFL Network, ESPN2 and FS1. Tickets are sold out.
Super Bowl Opening Night debuted in California at Super Bowl 50 inside a sold-out SAP Center, home of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. Highlights included Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton freestyle rapping and an Austrian sportscaster fully clad head to toe in a skiing outfit.
Fans who bought tickets for Monday’s event will sit in the stands and watch thousands of media interview the Super Bowl teams. For easier listening, those fans also will receive gift bags with a radio to tune into NFL Network coverage and hear some of the individual player interviews from the podium microphones.
The Atlanta Falcons, making their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, will be up first, from 7:10 p.m.-8:10 p.m. local time (8:10 p.m.-9:10 p.m. ET). The New England Patriots, no strangers to the Super Bowl media hoopla, will be available from 9 p.m.-10 p.m. local time (10 p.m.-11 p.m. ET).
Both sessions consist of photo and interview sessions with all players and coaches. This will be the first time these teams will meet the media in Houston.
Super Bowl Opening Night also will feature performances by rock band X Ambassadors and an appearance by Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon, who played for the Houston Oilers. It will have cheerleaders, team mascots and a red carpet fan photo opportunity. A large fireworks display is planned.
As for the game itself, Super Bowl LI is Sunday at NRG Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. local time (6:30 p.m. ET).