Your First NFL Game: 14 Things To Know and Expect (+ Tips)

There is nothing like watching a football game live in the stadium. No matter what troubles you may have to go through to get to the stadium to watch your favorite game, nothing beats the fun you get out of it.

Sure, watching the game from the comfort of your home has its own upside. But unless you go out and truly experience the pleasure of watching the game live, you will not understand. 

If you decide to actually go out and enjoy a game live, we have listed out 14 of the things you can expect from your first NFL game. Before you head out, read on and be well prepared for the game. Do it for the love of football. 

1. The size of the crowd.

When you reach the stadium to watch an NFL game, the first thing that will catch your breath is the size of the crowd. The NFL stadiums are massive enough to accommodate as many as 60,000 to over 100,000 fans in some places. 

If it’s your first trip to an NFL game, you will be amazed to see the number of loud, energetic, and passionate cheering fans. The best way to fit in is to get absorbed in the fun crowd and sit back, relax, and enjoy the game.

2. The atmosphere. 

One thing that sets your experience apart from watching an NFL game from the comfort of your home to watching it in real is the atmosphere at the stadium. With the kind of crowd gathered there, cheering and rooting for their team together, that noise can be quite deafening. 

Thousands of fans cheering in unison could really get your adrenaline pumping. And this is not the kind of atmosphere you will get to experience while watching from the cool comfort of your home. In my opinion, nothing on earth could compare to the exhilarating experience of watching the NFL game in the stadium rather than watching from home.

3. Making new friends.

Nothing unites people like the way sports does. And when thousands of fans gather together to cheer for their team, you cannot help but cheer with them, making friends along the way. There is no age bar for being an NFL fan. 

Young and old, men and women and kids alike join in the fun. So, as you share the joys and glooms of winning and losing the game together, you can surely expect to make some new friends by the end of the game. 

4. Seeing the players in real life. 

Watching your favorite players on TV is one thing, but getting to watch them play in real is another thing. And if you get to meet the players in person, well! What could be more exciting than that for an NFL fan?

If you get the opportunity to meet the players before or after the game, nothing could beat that joy, especially for some kids. That can truly make an unforgettable experience.

If you are lucky, you could get hold of some of the players’ souvenirs for keepsakes, or their autograph if they happen to pass you by.

5. Entertainment in the field. 

If you are out at the stadium watching the game, there is no way you will get bored at any time of the game. Home teams know how to keep their fans entertained throughout the game to keep cheering for them. The fans will be shown videos of the team’s biggest games to animate them and keep them energized for the game. Loud, upbeat music keep the crowd enthralled during the break time. 

The teams also showcase some fun games on the video- board to keep the crowd entertained during break time. Some fans come dressed up in different characters to add pomp and show to the field.

6. Tailgating at the NFL.

Some fans go to an NFL game only to tailgate. These fans would not enter the stadium, but they would only gather to enjoy and party outside the stadium. Even if you are not much of an NFL fan, tailgating can make the game experience an enjoyable time with friends and family. This is one of the NFL traditions that is hugely popular among its fans.

Tailgate parties are filled with all kinds of food to savor your taste buds – be it grilled, smoked or barbequed meat and burgers. For those of you who would like to enjoy the game as well as the food, there are usually TVs set up to watch the game. 

Tents are used for weather protection, and music will be up for the party. There will be many games on display for the kids too. It is a great place to hang around with friends and family. So, if you are attending the NFL game, make sure you make a stop at the tailgate party too.

7. Bonding time with family.

NFL games can also be a great bonding time with loved ones. Rooting for your home team, cheering and sharing those exciting moments together can make the NFL game a memorable experience. If you or your loved ones share the love for American football, then you can make many memories together.

8. Cost of attending an NFL game.

No matter how much you love the game, the cost of attending the game is a major issue. There are many costs associated with watching an NFL game at the stadium.

Some major costs you need to be aware of are the cost of the ticket, parking fee, concession fee, cost of costumes, food and drink costs, etc. The average cost of tickets plus the miscellaneous cost for a family of three could cost approximately $350 (or more). If you are watching the game alone, it will cost less; yet cost can still be an issue.

The average cost of a ticket to attend an NFL game may cost anywhere from $90 or more, depending on the game and the location of your seats too. The ticket prices can also vary depending on the size of the game. The bigger the game, the higher the ticket price will be. 

You also need to keep in account the cost of parking fees, which may cost anywhere from $20 to $75. All these costs put together can add up to a sizeable amount. So, it is a good idea to do your homework for the expenses before you head out to the stadium. 

9. Concession costs.

Another cause of worry is the concession cost when attending an NFL game. For a game that lasts 3 hours, a few stops at the concession stand will surely become an essential ritual. NFL restrictions at the stadium include food and beverages, which means you need to buy your own food and beer. The cost of food items can vary, depending upon an NFL stadium. But the costs of food at the concession stalls are usually higher.

Apparel cost could also add up if you are planning on buying one for the game. If you buy it at the stadium, it will cost more. It is better to buy online before the game.

Tailgating is another cost to worry at the game. It makes a great experience to tailgate with friends and family, but it has its cost worries too.

10. Weather at the NFL stadium.

NFL season continues for several months. So, the weather condition can depend upon the season it is being played. You can experience different weather conditions according to the location as well as the time of the year.

Weather conditions are controlled at the enclosed stadiums. If that’s your situation, no rain or storm could dampen your spirit of watching the game. For outdoor stadiums, it is good to be prepared. You never know when it will rain or shine.

If you are watching the game at the beginning of the season, it can be hot. In an open stadium, it will be difficult to sit under the heat for many hours. See if your seat comes under the shade; if not, carry a good sunscreen.

When the season is about to end, the weather will change. When the season enters the last leg, it will be very cold. If you have to sit in the cold for 3 hours at a stretch, it can take a toll on your body. So, get some warm clothes to deal with the harsh weather conditions and enjoy the game.

Other than heat and cold, rain could play spoilsport if it decides to pour down. Rains can pour down any day. Sitting through the rain for hours to watch the NFL game can be an annoying experience. Be prepared with massive umbrellas to deal with the showers, and nothing could dampen your spirit to watch the match.

The end of the season could bring snowstorms and freezing rain. Snow season could make watching the NFL games very difficult and dangerous too. Watch out for weather forecast before you head out to watch the games.

Due to extreme weather conditions, it is possible the games may get postponed or even canceled on some occasions. In such cases, when you were looking forward to a good game, it can be a real killjoy.

11. The game duration. 

Football games take quite long to complete. The average football game takes about over three hours to complete. Sometimes, the games may even take longer to complete. 

If you add up the time to get to the stadium and return home after the game, you can leave aside at least five hours or more to attend the NFL game. And if you decide to tailgate with friends after the game, a few more hours will be spent on it. 

12. Security screen at the gate.

Getting through the security gate for a game of football is another hassle. You will be required to get through a metal detector, show your pockets, and so on. There are restrictions on what you can take inside the stadium. Most of the stadiums do not allow food, water, or beverages. 

13. Things you can carry to the game.

There are a lot of restrictions to not carry when you go to an NFL game. A few things are allowed to take with you. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  • If it is one of the hot seasons, carry a sunscreen. Especially if it is one of the open stadiums, you need to protect yourself from the heat.
  • If it is one of the cold or rainy days, carry appropriate gears like umbrellas, raincoats, and warm clothing.
  • You can carry some small cameras. But camera bags are not allowed, and cameras with lenses longer than six inches are also restricted.
  • And carry some cash, which is not restricted at all. Just in case you need it.

14. The clear bag policy.

The NFL has a clear bag policy. The policy states that only small bags are allowed, measuring 4.5” x 6.5” or smaller only. If the bags are larger than this, they must be clear plastic and should not be larger than 12” x 6” x 12”. The bags should be made of either vinyl or PVC materials.

This policy was introduced to provide a safe environment for all its NFL fans.

All things considered 

Attending an NFL game is altogether an awesome experience. Once you head out and enjoy a live game with your loved ones, you will realize the ultimate fun. No matter what the troubles were, you will know it was worth it.

As we have discussed many things that you can expect from an NFL game, you can be prepared for most things when the next game is on. From finances to weather conditions, timing, and the overall experience, you can rest assured of a great game experience if you choose to enjoy a live game.