December 20, 2016
In the past, the NFL Combine has been held behind closed doors, with the best college football players trying to impress scouts without the public seeing any of the action. That changed in 2004 when the NFL began to broadcast the event on its own NFL Network.
College-football fans were finally able to see their favorite players go through drills, and NFL fans were able to see who their favorite teams might draft. However, the event still wasn’t open for the public to see up close and personal.
Last year, http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/18317276/nfl-expand-fan-access-combine-opens-registration-free-tickets">1,500 fans got a chance to see the combine live at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. It was the first time the league let fans into the combine to watch the events live.
While NFL ratings were down a bit this year, the league has been trying more and more to make offseason events matter. The NFL is working on becoming a year-round league with fans being able to get closer than ever to action.
When the http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000760218/article/nfl-announces-free-fan-opportunities-for-scouting-combine">NFL Combine takes place from March 3-5, 2017, the league will select a lucky group of 6,000 fans will get to see it all from Lucas Oil Stadium. The league will hand out those tickets for free, but they are non-transferable.
They won’t be just in the stadium watching from the stands for every event, either. Fans will be able to stand nearby as they watch the 225-pound bench press and cheer on players trying to complete as many reps as possible.
Fans will also be able to run a 40-yard dash, vertical, broad jump and other combine events from the convention center called “Combine Corner.” The league will allow fans to run an obstacle course, show of their form tacking against tackling dummies, and face “The Gauntlet,” where they can catch passes from a JUGS machine, which is a machine that shoots football for players to practice catching.
Before fans can take part in the physical events, they will have to sign a waiver that releases the league from any liability in case of injury. There are also events for those who want to visit the Combine but don’t want to take part in the physical events.
Fans will be able to interact with players at the convention center as members of the media conduct interviews, and the players will sign autographs. There will also be press conferences from head coaches that fans will be able to attend.
Visitors will have opportunities to take photos with players, NFL legends, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, the actual bench where players will do the 225-pound bench press. They can also pretend that their favorite NFL team just drafted them and get pictures wearing a jersey from that team.
Lastly, fans can enjoy virtual reality attractions, see all 50 Super Bowl rings, shop for NFL gear, win prizes and more activities. To register for a chance to win a free tickets, fans can download the NFL Fan Mobile Pass app or https://2017combine.fishsoftware.com/prereg/">visit this link until 5 p.m. eastern time on March 5.