Are you ready for some football?

Are you ready for some football? Well, join the Club!

Fear not, all you avid NFL fans who have been waiting for your favorite team to take the field again … the 2013 season is here!

The launch of a brand new season provides the first step in the journey toward East Rutherford, New Jersey, where Super Bowl XLVIII will take place on February 2, 2014, at MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. While it may be hard to fathom, given the sweltering temperatures in a lot of areas of the country right now, the game will be hailed as the first Super Bowl ever played in an outdoor, cold weather environment.

The atmosphere at MetLife Stadium is predicted to be electrifying, though, as the NFL’s top two teams emerge from their respective, hard-fought AFC and NFC campaigns. And inside the NFL On Location Super Bowl XLVIII Club, the forecast for game-day hospitality is exceptionally warm!

Join the Super Bowl XLVIII Club for the ultimate pre- and post-game experiences. It all starts at the IZOD Center* (within the secured perimeter) at Meadowlands Sports Complex, where you can count down to kickoff of a great sporting event while enjoying superb cuisine, NFL celebrity appearances, musical acts and interactive entertainment.

Exclusive upgrade options provide access to your own private suite, where you can enjoy pre-game and post-game hospitality for 14 or 20 guests. With fantastic sight lines to the main event stage, you and your guests also can view the Super Bowl XLVIII pre-game broadcast on HD TV screens while partaking in light snacks and a fully attended bar.

Then head to MetLife Stadium and get ready to cheer on your favorite team in the Super Bowl being billed by the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee as “so historic, it takes two states to host it.” After the game, it’s time to toast the newly crowned champions during a festive post-game celebration back in your private hospitality suite at the IZOD Center.

So cheers to the start of the 2013 NFL season … and to all 32 teams embarking on the journey to Super Bowl XLVIII. From training camps across the country to the ultimate destination of MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, it promises to be one heck of a ride!

When it comes to making your Super Bowl XLVIII plans, don’t get left out in the cold! Join the NFL On Location Super Bowl XLVIII Club by teaming up with Dallas Fan Fares, an Official NFL On Location Event Experience Provider.

*A Super Bowl XLVIII game ticket is required for entry to the IZOD Center.

Girl Power

On July 27, athletes from around the world will march into Olympic Stadium to participate in the Opening Ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

As avid sports fans, we always look forward to watching the world’s best athletes compete on the biggest stage of them all. As Americans, we enthusiastically cheer on our own, taking pride in every athlete who dons the red-white-and-blue uniform.

During the 2012 Olympics, a total of 530 athletes will represent the United States in 25 different sports. What’s significant to note is that this year—for the first time in U.S. Olympic history— the women finally will outnumber the men.

The U.S. team is made up of 269 women and 261 men who will be vying for medals in London. Included in that count is equestrian Karen O’Connor, who, at age 54, is the oldest Olympian on the entire team, and swimmer Katie Ledecky, 15, the youngest.

It somehow seems appropriate that our nation’s most accomplished women athletes would achieve this feat on the 40-year anniversary of Title IX, the landmark legislation that has increased sports opportunities for millions of women since its implementation. This statistic also reverberates with all of us at Dallas Fan Fares, a company comprised of mostly female employees.

Throughout the years, we have taken great pride in distinctions such as “Top 500 Women-Owned Businesses in America,”  “Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses in Texas,” and “Top 500 Diversity Businesses in America,” as bestowed by DiversityBusiness.com and other industry organizations. And much like the U.S. Olympic squad, our “team” is filled with accomplished and talented women, ranging from recent college graduates to mothers of college graduates.

It’s a versatile group, reflecting a diversity of ages, backgrounds and skill sets (not to mention a few men who are as equally talented and accomplished as their female counterparts) and, together, we make one heck of a team!

And speaking of formidable teams, we can’t wait to start cheering on all the women and men who will be competing for our country at the London 2012 Olympic Games. It’s already a history-making squad, even before the first competition (which, interestingly enough, is women’s football) gets under way.

May the 2012 United States Olympic team continue to make history and headlines with its performances … and let the Games begin!

Did You Know? Dallas Fan Fares got its start 32 years ago when Kaye Burkhardt, a former schoolteacher and soon-to-be single mother needed to return to the workforce in order to provide for her four young children. The company has grown from its humble beginnings on Burkhardt’s kitchen table to a globally recognized leader in the fields of meeting management, incentive travel, destination management and sports hospitality, with a client list that includes Fortune 500 corporations and major sports conglomerates such as the National Football League.

Make History

Make History at the NCAA Final Four, an event of Texas-sized Proportions

It’s Texas, Y’all!

To say that football is big in the great state of Texas would be an understatement of…well, Texas-size proportions. Texans’ fanaticism with the sport is so celebrated, it has been chronicled in numerous books, television shows and movies. (Seriously, who hasn’t indulged in “Friday Night Lights,” via any and all of the aforementioned mediums?)

When it comes to their love of sports, however, Texans don’t put all their eggs in one basket (yes, pun intended). Judging by the immense success of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball South Regional Championships held at Cowboys Stadium this past March—combined with the building excitement over next season’s NCAA Men’s Final Four in the same venue—college basketball also appears to be basking in the brightly shining sports spotlight of the Lone Star State.

Approximately 36,585 fans flocked to the match-up between tournament titans Florida and Michigan, marking the fifth-largest crowd to see an NCAA Regional Final. The tally was over 42,000 for Friday’s semifinals, which included perennial powerhouse Kansas and the “Dunk City” kids from upstart Florida Gulf Coast University.

With the 2010 NBA All-Star Game and Super Bowl XLV serving as precursors, Cowboys Stadium is primed to host yet another of sports’ biggest events. As the NCAA Men’s Final Four makes its way to Arlington, Texas, April 5–7, 2014, local organizers are predicting an event of epic proportions.

“We do things bigger and better in Texas. I know that sounds cliché, but I don’t mean it to be,” said Tim Allen, Big 12 Conference senior associate commissioner, who served as tournament manager of the 2013 South Regional at Cowboys Stadium and will serve in a similar capacity at next year’s Final Four.

The “bigger and better” experience starts with the venue, a dazzling multipurpose facility that serves as home to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. Featuring the world’s largest column-free interior and the fourth-largest high-definition video screen, Cowboys Stadium opened to great fanfare in 2009 and received rave reviews as host of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball South Regional Championships.

In addition to watching the nation’s top four teams battle it out for the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball title, tournament-goers will have access to a plethora of activities during their trip to the Final Four, including:

Inside Bracket Town Refreshed by Coca-Cola Zero, fans can choose between a number of high-energy, interactive activities and events, such as basketball youth clinics and the Legends Game, which features college basketball stars from the past. There’s also plenty of contests, promotions and autograph sessions with basketball greats during this four-day, family-friendly event.

The Big Dance Concert Series is a FREE, three-day music festival for all ages (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), featuring high-profile musical artists from around the country. The Big Dance Concert Series is brought to you by NCAA Corporate Champions—AT&T, Coca-Cola and Capital One.

And it all takes place within the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, an economic and cultural hub that encompasses some of the best shopping, restaurants, hotels and activities in the country.

“We’re going to obviously try to set an all-time attendance record,” says tournament committee member Allen of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four. “We want to set the record for the highest attendance and for the highest fan satisfaction, as well.”

London’s Calling

According to Harris Poll’s annual survey, over one-third of U.S. adults who follow at least one sport (34%) say pro football is their favorite sport, beating out baseball (16%) and college football (11%) by a wide margin. In separate findings, the NFL asserts that fan interest in the United Kingdom has risen by 32 percent over the last two years.

As pro football’s popularity surges in the U.S. and abroad, the NFL International Series is doubling the pleasure for fans across the pond … as well as Americans in search of the sports trip of a lifetime. London’s Wembley Stadium, which hosted its first International Series game between the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins in 2007, will open its gates to NFL fans twice during the 2013 season.

On September 29, the Minnesota Vikings will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first of the two-game series. Less than a month later, on October 27, the Jacksonville Jaguars will serve as the designated home team to the San Francisco 49ers, who, as you know, came within five yards of winning Super Bowl XLVII.

The possibility of not one, but two, opportunities to attend an NFL game on their own side of the Atlantic Ocean has to be welcome news for the millions of Europeans who stayed up well past midnight to tune in for the Super Bowl broadcast. The 2013 International Series’ two-game schedule also provides yet another avenue for the NFL and four of its teams to grow their fan bases, and their brands, on a more global basis.

The big winner could turn out to be the Jacksonville Jaguars, who signed on to play four games in London between this season and the 2016 NFL campaign. Given the opportunity to share its business, tourism, lifestyle and team profiles with an international audience over the next four years, it’s bound to pay tremendous dividends for the Jaguars, as well as the NFL.

“Our goal is to continue to grow the game, and this commitment by the Jacksonville Jaguars represents a major step forward in our international efforts,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in making this season’s International Series announcement. “We have had a tremendously positive reaction to our sport in the U.K., and we’re excited that the Jaguars are seizing this opportunity to raise the profile for the team as well as the Jacksonville community.”

With a pair of NFL games scheduled for Wembley Stadium this season, the spotlight also will be shining brightly on the city of London and all its charms.

From Buckingham Palace to Piccadilly Circus—and all the fabled castles, cathedrals, towers and bridges in between—there’s a plethora of reasons why London is England’s most-visited city, not to mention one of the world’s leading tourism destinations. And, as the 2012 Olympic Games will attest, it plays a jolly good host to world-class sporting events.

From Big Ben (Roethlisberger) to Big Ben (the Clock Tower at the Palace of Westminster), the 2013 NFL International Series presents the perfect “bucket list” adventure for American football fans who are eager to combine a love of travel with their favorite pastime. As well as for the growing number of NFL fans who reside on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.