NFL Kickoff Experience: What you need to know

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The 2018 NFL season will officially begin when the Super Bowl Champions Philadelphia Eagles take the field against the Atlanta Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field Thursday night, but the pregame festivities start hours earlier.

The daylong NFL Kickoff Experience begins at 10 a.m. at Penn's Landing and runs through 8 p.m.

The NFL Kickoff Experience is free and open to the public. No tickets are required, but fans are encouraged to register in advance via NFL Kickoff - Fan Mobile Pass for an all-access pass.

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Eagles fans pregame at the NFL Kickoff Experience. Gray Hall reports during Action News at 12:30 p.m. on September 6, 2018.

Highlights of the event include a concert from Shawn Mendes, a Super Bowl LII rewatch party, and Eagles legends.

The NFL says that fans attending the concert will be encouraged to watch the season opener at Philly restaurants, as it will not be broadcast at the Penn's Landing site.

This is the 17th consecutive Kickoff celebration to start the season and the 14th time the NFL has saluted the Super Bowl champions with the opening game in their stadium on a Thursday in primetime.

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The daylong NFL Kickoff Experience begins at 10 a.m. as reported by Trish Hartman during Action News at 10 on September 5, 2018.

Scheduled events:
10:00 a.m. - Gates open
12:00 p.m. - Super Bowl LII Re-watch party
3:00 p.m. - Performance by Pennsylvania-born, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter DAYA
4:00 p.m. - Performance by country duo LOCASH
5:00 p.m. - Viewing of America's Game - The Story of the Super Bowl LII Champions
6:00 p.m. - Concert with headliner and multi-platinum singer/songwriter SHAWN MENDES
8:00 p.m. - Event concludes.

Shawn Mendes performs at The Governors Ball Music Festival at Randall's Island Park on Friday, June 1, 2018 in New York.

Photo by Scott Roth/Invision/AP

Activities include attractions and games for NFL fans of all ages:
  • NFL Legends and former Eagles onsite to sign autographs throughout the afternoon, including six-time Pro Bowler David Akers, Jason Avant, four-time Pro Bowler Harold Carmichael, Super Bowl LII Champion Brent Celek, Four-time Pro Bowler Randall Cunningham, Eagles Hall of Famer Jeremiah Trotter, and two-time Pro Bowler Brian Westbrook.

  • A chance to take a photo with the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

  • The full collection of 52 Super Bowl rings on view.

  • A chance to win tickets to the Kickoff game or to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.

  • Interactive games, an NFL Play 60 zone, and much more!

Important Entry, Road Closure, Transit, Parking and Safety Information:

Fans may enter the event at one of three locations at Penn's Landing starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 6. Event is NOT accessible via Columbus Boulevard.
Market Street Gate - Market Street at the Delaware River Waterfront (Access bridge at 2nd and Market Streets)
Chestnut Street Gate - Chestnut Street at the Delaware River Waterfront (Access bridge at Front and Chestnut Streets)
Walnut Street Gate - Walnut Street at the Delaware River Waterfront (Adjacent to Independence Seaport Museum)

Road Closures

12:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 4
  • Columbus Blvd. - Northbound parking lane and right travel lane between Walnut Street and Market Street

  • Lanes closed from 12:00 a.m. on 9/4 through 11:59 p.m. on 9/7

9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 4
  • Market & Chestnut Street Viaduct - Closed at Front Street

  • Roads closed from 9:30 a.m. on 9/4 through 11:59 p.m. on 9/7

  • Additional road closures may be implemented in the vicinity of Penn's Landing on Thursday, September 6 to facilitate public safety.

No Parking

12:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 4
  • Columbus Blvd. - Northbound parking lane between Walnut Street and Market Street

  • Restrictions lifted at 11:59 p.m. on 9/7

8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 4
  • Market & Chestnut Street Viaduct

  • Front Street (East Side) from Walnut Street to Market Street

  • Restrictions lifted at 11:59 p.m. on 9/7

6:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 6
  • Dock Street (Both Sides) from Columbus Blvd. to 38th Parallel Place

  • Spruce Street (Both Sides) from Columbus Blvd. to 38th Parallel Place

  • 38th Parallel Place (Both Sides) from Dock Street to Spruce Street

  • Front Street (East Side) from Dock Street to Walnut Street

  • Restrictions lifted at 11:00 p.m. on 9/6

Public Transportation and Parking

SEPTA is a convenient, affordable way for fans to get to and from Penn's Landing. Street and garage parking in the vicinity of the event is limited. Event-goers are encouraged to utilize the Market Frankford Line and exit the system via 2nd & Market Street Station. Another option is to utilize the Spring Garden Station, also on the Market Frankford Line. Parking is available at many stops along the Market Frankford Line, and the 15th Street/City Hall stop offers free interchange with the Broad Street Subway. When departing 2nd Street Station and/or Spring Garden Station, event-goers will be directed to the appropriate entrance at NFL Kickoff Experience.

A SEPTA Key Card loaded with money in the Travel Wallet will be the most convenient way to travel, with the benefit of paying a discounted fare. The other option is purchasing Quick Trips from the Station Fare Kiosk at the start of the trip for each trip being taken in one day. Each Quick Trip is only good for one trip, with no transfers. The SEPTA Key Mobile Fare Kiosk will be onsite at 2nd & Market Streets for Key fare purchases. Follow SEPTA @septa_social on Twitter for service changes and alerts or call 215-580-7800.

From New Jersey, service will be provided on the RiverLink Ferry, running on a special schedule from 9:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. from Camden to Philadelphia. Drop off location is right outside of the Walnut Street Gate. For more information on travel from New Jersey, visit NJ Transit or PATCO.

If driving into Center City is necessary, commercial off-street parking lots and garages are available within walking distance of Penn's Landing. Contact individual facilities in advance for rates and availability, or visit the Philadelphia Parking Authority's website for a list of parking options. The 2018 NFL Kickoff is not affiliated with these parking facilities.

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NFL Kickoff Experience at Penn's Landing. Maggie Kent reports during Action News at Noon on September 5, 2018.

Venue Details and Public Safety Information

The perimeter of the NFL Kickoff Experience will be secured and protected for maximum public safety. All event-goers will be directed to pass through security checkpoints at the following locations:
Market Street Viaduct (via 2nd & Market Streets)
Chestnut Street Viaduct (via Front & Chestnut Streets)
Penn's Landing RiverWalk (via Walnut Street & Columbus Blvd.)

Throughout the event, the City will provide a strong presence of law enforcement and emergency medical services. The City and NFL officials will utilize a network of prevention and response services, which will be integrated, mobile and in constant communication. An EMS tent, staffed by the Philadelphia Fire Department, will be located inside the event venue, and will be clearly marked.
Event-goers will be subject to searches before being permitted inside the venue to ensure the enjoyment and safety of everyone at the event. Attendees should be prepared for additional searches inside the venue at the discretion of event security staff. The NFL's clear bag policy will not be in effect for this event, however attendees are strongly discouraged from carrying bags, backpacks, or satchels of any kind. All bags are subject to search. No bags or items should be left unattended.

Items NOT allowed inside the venue include but are not limited to alcohol, any vehicle except a wheelchair, baby carriage or other like vehicle, banners (any object that obstructs the view of another), drones, fireworks, golf clubs and golf balls, illegal substances, laser lights and pointers, mace/pepper spray, noisemakers and horns, poles, sticks (including selfie sticks), missile like objects of any kind, smoking of any kind, weapons, knives, firearms and explosives, chairs, umbrellas, pets other than service animals, bicycles, scooters, hoverboards, skateboards.

Penn's Landing Rules and Regulations

Fans will be expected to follow the rules and regulations of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. Prohibited items include professional cameras or recording devices, grills or barbecues, coolers, picnic tables, tents, glass bottles, outside food or alcohol, stickers or markers, flyer distribution, laser pointers, illegal drugs, smoking of any kind, weapons, knives, firearms and explosives.

Emergency Preparedness & Weather Alerts

NFL Kickoff Experience is a rain or shine event. In the case of severe weather, listen for announcements and sign up ahead of time to receive free emergency text alerts from the Office of Emergency Management's ReadyPhiladelphia system. Text READYPHILA to 888-777 to enroll.

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Penn's Landing gets ready for NFL Experience: maggie Kent reports on Action News at 5 p.m., September 9, 2018.

For tips and general information about being prepared and ready at special events, read the Special Event Safety Guide before you attend.
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