In another boost for Cape Town’s sports tourism sector, the Mother City will host a weekend of National Football League (NFL) fan events in September to celebrate the kick-off of the 2023 season.
The events form part of the NFL Africa programme – a long-term, multi-market commitment to growing the sport at every level across the continent.
The 'NFL Experience: Cape Town', an immersive American football showcase, will take place on Saturday, September 16, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
The event will give local fans the full NFL experience, from testing their skills through interactive NFL football and NFL flag activities, to learning more about the history of the league. Fans will also be able to check out authentic NFL merchandise.
The iconic Vince Lombardi Trophy will be on display alongside NFL memorabilia, as well as activations featuring Madden NFL 24, Pro Era, Wilson footballs, authentic player jerseys from Mitchell & Ness and apparel from Kingdom & Co.
An NFL Viewing Party, in collaboration with ESPN Africa, will take place on Sunday, September 17 at the V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre to close off the weekend.
The event, beginning at 17h00, will fuse together live entertainment from NFL legends and local South African personalities with a live viewing of a game from week two of the NFL season. Fans in attendance will also have the chance to play games and win various prizes and giveaways.
Fans will be joined by Osi Umenyiora, former New York Giants defensive end and two-time Super Bowl winner, leading the NFL's expansion efforts in Africa.
He will be joined by South Africa's own NFL legend Gary Anderson – who played in the NFL for 23 seasons – in addition to NFL veteran Kenny Stills.
"We're thrilled to bring the game closer to South African fans and build excitement for the NFL throughout the country. Fans – get ready, this is just the beginning! The NFL will see you in September," said Umenyiora.
"I'm proud to welcome the NFL to South Africa for the first time. I look forward to seeing fans enjoy the 'NFL Experience: Cape Town' for themselves, and I can't wait to join them in the stunning city to help grow fandom in my home country," said Anderson.
JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security told Tourism Update that the city had actively been in dialogue with the NFL for several months and was fully committed to lending support to the upcoming event.
“With a continuous focus on broadening the scope of our event portfolio, we strive to uphold Cape Town’s standing as an internationally competitive events destination. We take great pride in our collaboration with the NFL and invite all Capetonians to take part in this American football fan experience and bring their gees [spirit],” said Smith.