TAMPA, Fla. — With the presidential inauguration in the rearview mirror, the next big thing Tampa Bay has to look forward to is, of course, the Big Game. Super Bowl LV, the fifth NFL championship to be played in Tampa, will kick off on Sunday, Feb. 7; that date is fast approaching, and the hoopla surrounding the game will begin even sooner. The Super Bowl Experience will thrill fans who download the app, reserve tickets and observe COVID protocols in Julian B. Lane Waterfront Park beginning Friday, January 29, and a host of events are planned just across the Hillsborough River along downtown's Riverwalk.

What You Need To Know

  • The Super Bowl comes to Tampa on Sunday, Feb. 7

  • Peripheral attractions, including the Super Bowl Experience, begin Friday, Jan. 29

  • The Tampa Riverwalk and Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park are transforming to host events

As the event approaches, work is already underway. The Riverwalk has already changed dramatically—joggers, Segway tourists and foot commuters are now cut off from Curtis Hixon Park and MacDill Park by tall chain-link fences, as the morning sunlight flashes off of metal struts and white fabric pavilions rise. New Super Bowl graphics are everywhere, from lightposts and the Tampa Convention Center to the towering facade of the Embassy Suites Hotel; despite the pandemic, the city is going all-in on spirit, enthusiasm and promotion.

Here's a quick look at some of the developments so far.

The Super Bowl Experience is rising in Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. (Image by Scott Harrell)
Curtis Hixon Park is off-limits for the time being. (Image by Scott Harrell)
The Tampa Convention Center gets ready for the big game. (Image by Scott Harrell)
The Tampa Convention Center. (Image by Scott Harrell)
MacDill Park along the Tampa Riverwalk. (Image by Scott Harrell)
The Embassy Suites Hotel goes big. (Image by Scott Harrell)
River patrol. (Image by Scott Harrell)