The Secret Lives of NFL Stadiums
Motorcycle racing at MetLife? Hell yes.
Next weekend, some 70,000 fans will flock to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, to see the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos square off in Super Bowl 50. After the final whistle, Lombardi trophy hoist and jubilant celebration, the stadium will fall quiet for only a brief period. Because after you spend a few billion to build an arena, you’ll want it as busy as possible to recoup that colossal chunk of cheddar. And, many times, that means racing. Trucks. Motorcycles. Or bacon. Here, a cursory look at some of the more interesting postseason events coming to a stadium near you.
Monster Energy Supercross — MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, New Jersey)
This April, a company called Dirt Wurx will oversee 550 dump trucks hauling in more than 1.5 million pounds of soil, then spend three days constructing a supercross track inside MetLife arena. When they’re done, more than 50,000 people will turn up to watch motorcycle riders compete in two classes of Supercross: Regular (250cc two-stroke and 450cc four-stroke) and Lite (125cc two-stroke and 250cc four-stroke). In both, riders hit over 60 mph and, off jumps, soar 40 feet high and land some 70 feet out. Those stats mean it’s unsurprising some Supercross events draw larger turnouts than the home NFL team.
Bacon and Beer Classic — Mile High Stadium (Denver, Colorado)
What is better than the combination of delectable, smoky backfat and sudsy brews? Not much. And both are enhanced when the setting is a stadium like Mile High in Denver. A moderate entrance fee gets you a ceramic shot glass, which holds about 2.5 ounces. This is your vessel to sample some 100-plus regional and craft beers. In between imbibing, you’ll hit up more than 50 bacon vendors, noshing on some incredible pig-centric fare. There are also rides, games and stadium tours that you won’t care about because bacon. Pro-tip: Don’t eat for a day before you go.
Autorama’s World of Wheels — Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans, Louisiana)
This national tour rolls into Nawlins bringing a cornucopia of custom cars, trucks, motorcycles and more. Grab some étouffée and prepare to drool over restos and mods from every era, or head over to a car detailing booth to pick up products and tips on how to make your ride shine. Plus they’re advertising “free celebrity autographs!” from WWE wrestler Daniel Bryan, Disney star Peyton List and Catherine “Daisy Duke” Bach… so there’s that. Bring your own wheels for a crack at winning prize money or just come and gawk at everyone else's. Whatever you do, don’t spill any powdered sugar from your beignets on anyone’s ride.
Stadium Super Truck Racing — Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Los Angeles, California)
Robbie Gordon has raced in NASCAR, CART, IndyCar, Trans-Am, IMSA and IROC, and at Baja and Dakar. Dude still can’t get his fill, so he revived an idea born back in the Seventies by off-road racing impresario Mickey Thompson: Stadium Super Truck races. The recipe? Take big block V8s that churn out 600 horsepower, stuff ‘em onto truck frames under a fiberglass shell, throw a bunch of dirt, ramps and jumps inside a stadium and wave the green flag. What follows is sheer madness. The trophy truck series has since been renamed SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road and will be touring across Australia, Canada and the U.S. this year. It is the best.
Bay Area Wedding Fair — Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara, California)
Billed as “The Super Bowl of Wedding Fairs,” this shindig goes down at Levi’s after the Super Bowl... of well, football. While the marketing collateral touts the location as a sure “favorite of both the brides and grooms,” we’re betting betrothed gentlemen may be more than a little glum at the notion coming to this storied stadium to watch a bridal fashion show, peruse designer gowns and sample wedding cakes.
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