By David Mullen
This is not the type of convention where you will find hundreds of people in Spiderman, Captain America and Wookiee costumes. This is SportsCon, billed as the “most interactive sports convention in the world” and it is coming to Dallas.
SportsCon is the ultimate fan experience that brings players from all sports together in one place for a weekend filled with interaction, live games and sports challenges. SportsCon will be held in the Automobile Building of Fair Park at 1100 1st Ave. on Friday, July 12 through Sunday, July 14. Fans can expect to meet players from the NFL, NBA, MLB and even the UFC in the most action-packed and interactive environment that a sports fan can experience.
The event is the evolution of former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and CBS analyst Tony Romo and current Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s National Fantasy Football Convention (NFFC). The NFFC brings thousands of fantasy football fans to the Metroplex to meet and engage with their favorite players and personalities. After two years of unprecedented popularity and success, the team behind NFFC decided it was time for something bigger and better.
“After listening to fans, attendees, players and sponsors, it was clear that everyone wanted more,” said SportsCon CEO Andy Alberth. “They wanted more sports, more players, more companies and even more access. We really had no choice but to expand in a major way. We’re humbled by our past successes and we’re motivated to provide fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up-close and personal with their favorite athletes from all sports.”
In addition to bringing together more than 150 professional athletes, SportsCon will also feature two football fields, basketball hoops, putting greens, batting cages, a boxing and wrestling ring, the Taste of Texas, an eSports lounge and many more interactive exhibits. Athletes scheduled to attend include Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, Randy Couture, Delino DeShields and others.
“I love sports,” Alberth said. “The dream of being able to work in sports is something I would do for free. To be around these fans and athletes and to do something that has never existed is really special. You can go to any sporting event and — win or lose — you are not going to meet the players. It is fun to make memories for these sports fans. It was kind of how I grew up. I wish I had this opportunity growing up.
“You will see a boxing ring and champions fighting in the ring. You can expect to see a 60-yard football field with military combines going on, and a bowl with NFL quarterbacks playing a game with the military. You will see batting cages and can get into the cage with Pete Rose, the all-time batting leader. There will be Rangers and Astros there. You can see the Smith brothers [current Cowboy Jaylon and former Cowboy Rod] coaching against each other in the Military Bowl. You can play video games in the Microsoft Lounge with former athletes. You can play basketball.
“We have a women’s side where we have a football camp,” Alberth said. “We have a Nancy Lieberman basketball camp as well. We have over 200 partners. It is an event that is more than three days. It will last year-round. There is no doubt that we were inspired by the success of Comic-Con and we wanted to create something similar for sports fans of the world. Instead of meeting your favorite superheroes, you get to meet your favorite sports heroes. With our continued partnerships with all four branches of the military, some of the largest companies in the world and professional athletes, we’re excited to show our attendees that there is nothing quite like SportsCon.”
SportsCon promises to not be your typical star-studded, hero-worship convention full of imposters. But just in case, be on the lookout for fans dressed as Brett Favre, Kevin Durant, Mike Trout, Alexander Overchkin or Conor McGregor. Find out more at gosportscon.com.