Friday kicks off ESPN the Weekend and there's a lot to take in over the span of the weekend. With so much to do, you may find yourself wondering which events are worth your time adn which aren't. Ideally you would spend two or three days at ESPN the Weekend to allow yourself plenty of time to "see it all". The reality is for many families, that isn't practical so one day will have to suffice. Regardless of how long you have dedicated to ESPN the Weekend, we've compiled our list of our favorite events that shouldn't be skipped.
If you are a baseball or football junkie, this is the event for you. Basically these events are large forums where the cast of either Baseball Tonight or NFL Live assemble on the stage and are usually joined by one or two athletes. They will talk for a few minutes on a topic or two but the bulk of the event is an open ended Q&A format show where they take questions directly from the audience.
What I love about this event is it's a great opportunity to pick the brains of people that cover their sport rather well. There's a wide slew of questions from the audience and it's empowering to feel like you can stand up and ask your question. Each time I've wanted to ask a question, I've had no problem getting picked to do so and if you've ever wanted to get an experts' take on your angle, this is the place to do so.
In the past few years these events have been held in the Premier Theater and getting a seat has been rather easy since the capacity is so high.
Located backstage between Rock 'n Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror, the Interactive SportsZone is a sporting playground. In truth anyone of any age can enjoy this but if you have kids in your group, especially between the ages of 8 and 16, this will be a real hit with them.
The SportsZone features lots of sport activities such as seeing how fast your fastball is or how far your golf drive is. It also features a basketball court for various pick up games, flag football field, BMX bike track, bass fishing tank and more. The real kicker is it's all free and quite often the athletes will arrive (usually unannounced) to play with the kids. I've seen NFL players play flag football with some kids and members of the Harlem Globetrotters playing a game of basketball with one arm tied behind their back against an entire team of kids (Globetrotters still won).
The SportsZone gets more and more crowded as the day progresses so if you want to minimize the lines, try for before lunch time.
Any self respecting sports fan fancies him or herself as a trivia expert in some regard. We may not know everything, but we like to think we know our fair share of sports trivia. Stump the Schwab is a trivia game that pits guests teamed up with a sports athlete against Howie Schwab, ESPN's ultimate sports trivia guy.
The games first pit three teams of guests against each other until one winner is chosen. That winner is then pitted against Howie himself to see who knows more trivia. Howie almost always wins but there will be a game or two where the guest upsets the reigning champ. It's a lot of fun to see this game in person and I think it's a really well put together event.
If you want to try out for Stump the Schwab, arrive very early (at least 20 minutes before show time) to get a spot. The Cast Members will be looking for guests with a lot of enthusiasm as well as sports trivia so be ready to impress.
There you have our top three events of ESPN the Weekend. There's lots more to do at ESPN the Weekend but these three stand out as my personal favorites. Be sure to follow our live coverage of ESPN the Weekend 2011 starting on 9am this Friday!