Welcome to the #365Firsts Podcast and the Expert Advice Before Your First Time Series. The show aims to encourage, prepare, and inspire you to do things you’ve never done before and complete your #365FirstsChallenge list.
In each episode of this series, we give you tips and advice to set you up for success, for specific firsts and new experiences. The guests and topics are as varied as the options and possibilities of new experiences.
Whether you’re trying to learn a new skill, improve your health and happiness, work on your self-development, add excitement and adventure to your life, or simply have first times, you’re going to love our podcast.
In This Episode
In this episode, we’re going to be heading down a sportier path. This episode’s guest brings a wealth of experience and knowledge relating to one of the most popular sporting events in America – the Superbowl.
If you’ve never been to the Super Bowl before, it should be on your #365FirstsChallenge list as it’s a momentous, memorable event.
Today, we’re joined by Adonis McNeal, an avid football fan, who has been a season pass holder for the Seattle Seahawks for 15 years. Adonis has attended two Super Bowls in support of his team.
The Guest Expert
To start off with, it’s important to note that Adonis is a passionate Seattle Seahawks fan- but we won’t be bringing up any team rivalries in this podcast!
His first Superbowl game was in 2014, a game that was full of first times. The Seahawks defeated the Broncos, with a score of 43-8; which is the largest margin of victory for an underdog team. It was the first time the winning team stood at over 40 points, while keeping their opponent under 10 points.
This particular match was held on February 2nd, 2014 at MetLife Stadium, at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in New Jersey. It was the first Superbowl to be played outdoors in a cold-weather city, and it was also the first one to take place on February 2nd.
His second Superbowl was held the following year, where the Seahawks played the Patriots (our favorite team, here at the #365FirstsChallenge) on February 1st, 2015. This took place at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona and finished in favor of the Patriots.
Outside of football, Adonis has had a fascinating career in sales. He spent a 30 year period in the fashion apparel industry, 6 years in the wine business, and he now works for Glass Distillery. A company that sells elegantly crafted vodka, made from grapes grown in the rich soils of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.
He’s clearly a man of exquisite taste, and we’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to bring him on our show to speak about his passion, right before the Superbowl on Sunday, the 2nd of February.
What You Need To Know About Attending The Superbowl For The First Time
We began the podcast by asking Adonis about his passion for football, and what drew him to it.
Adonis noted how he would watch football and play it as a child; he quit playing in Junior High – but never stopped following the team. He ended up a Seattle Seahawks’ fan after moving to Seattle, and compares watching a game to seeing beautiful poetry in motion.
Adonis knew he would go to this his first Superbowl game after attending the NFC championship game with his lovely wife Monica. After the game, Monica and Adonis were on their way to a restaurant, when they got the the news, they had not been selected in the lottery to buy their Superbowl tickets. Luckily, a friend of Monica’s had been selected and was willing to sell them his tickets. Another friend in New York was willing to host them.
Adonis explained how when a team makes it in the Superbowl, they’ll get 10,000 tickets for the game, which are available for purchase, in a lottery type system to the season ticket holders. According to Adonis, the lottery is weighted by how many seats a season ticket holder has and how long a person has been a season ticket holder.
If you don’t score your tickets through the lottery, then you have to buy or bid for them on the open market. Aftermarket prices can be much higher and riskier in regards to fluctuation, too. Adonis noted factors like the weather can affect ticket prices, and it’s almost a game in itself to decide whether to buy early and risk overpaying, or wait for a price drop, and risk missing out. It varies wildly from game to game.
One of the main points that Adonis emphasized is that a large portion of tickets are bought up by large corporations, who subsequently buy up huge chunks of hotel rooms. This means that places to stay can be hard to come by, which is why he was lucky to stay with a friend in 2014 and at his own timeshare in 2015.
Where to Stay and Transportation
He recommended Superbowl attendees look at potentially staying with family or friends, or using sites like Airbnb before opting for mainstream hotels, as these can be hard to come by and much more expensive than other points in the year. Booking early is also an option, and then cancelling early enough, if you can’t make the game or get tickets.
In terms of traveling, Adonis stated he pre-bought tickets which saved money and hassle, although it was a bit of a gamble. He notes, it’s important to plan your transport carefully before you book anything, and consider whether you’ll be able to drive, commute or walk to your location from the chosen airport and to and from the stadium.
Getting to and leaving the stadium can be a pain, depending where the Superbowl game is being hosted. Adonis described his experiences with being stuck behind an immense crowd while waiting for a train home when they went to MetLife Stadium – it took hours for them to get back and it was cold. Eventually, buses were brought in – he ended up getting home in the early hours of the morning. Always check your transportation options for both arriving and leaving the game.
The NFL Festivities
The preparations from the NFL and sponsors can be quite intense – they take over city blocks wherever the game is hosted!! There’s plenty of events, pop-up stores, parties, and fun experiences to try out; and you’re very likely to run into NFL stars from the past and present too. Adonis notes that when he was in New York for the Superbowl, in 2014, there was a ice slide right in Times Square and a huge NFL stage set up for events.
Sightseeing is always a great opportunity when you go to the Superbowl, and you should take the time to check out your host city wherever possible. It’s always fun to find where your team’s local bar is, as this can be a great opportunity to have fun and meet new people/fans of your team.
The Day of the Game
Adonis brought up the point that it’s important to give yourself enough time to do everything on the day of the game, and to leave yourself roughly 4 hours to get to the venue, get through security and to enjoy the sights in and around the stadium. The stadium is usually open 2 hours or so before kick-off, but the Superbowl, it’s much earlier.
It can be time consuming to go through the security process and metal detectors. Use your common sense with packing for the day e.g. no sharp objects, and make sure that you’re patient with security as you’re heading in. They’re doing their jobs, after all.
Besides the game, the halftime show is one of the main attractions. Adonis compared it to a concert, and described how he had seen the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Bruno Mars perform at the halftime shows. He also took part in an intriguing Pepsi marketing campaign, which meshed with the music.
An important reminder that Adonis made was to bring the right clothing to keep you warm/cool during the game. Different host cities will have different climates, so pack accordingly.
Generally speaking, the Super Bowl is a wonderfully emotional, energetic and enjoyable experience that every sports fan should try to attend at least once in their life.
Get In Touch With Adonis
We had a great time speaking with Adonis, and hearing more about his personal experiences with the Superbowl. His social media links are as follows;
If you want to reach out to our guest expert and ask him more about his experiences, we’re sure he would be more than happy to speak with you. Why not reach out to him and let him know that you enjoyed hearing him on the podcast?
How To Reach Us
Want to suggest a podcast topic? Looking to give us feedback on our show so far? Listener feedback and topic suggestions are always incredibly welcome for this show, and we would be more than happy to hear from you.
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What’s Coming Up Next Time?
New episodes of Expert Advice Before Your First Time are released each Tuesday and Thursday, and we’ve got an amazing roster of expert guests lined up to give you more advice.
In the next episode, we’ll be speaking with Laura Pennington on the 4th of February, about freelance writing for the first time. Next, on the 6th of February, we will be chatting to Andrew Alleman about being a guest on a podcast for the first time.You can listen and subscribe on Apple, Google, or Spotify. While you’re there – please leave a review if you can. It really does help us out with our work, and each review is truly appreciated.