Be prepared to shell out some cash and wait in line at the Super Bowl Experience. Security guards wait the check bags at the concrete barriered entrances outside the Minneapolis Convention Center. Inside, bomb-sniffing dogs and guards in camouflage armed with automatic weapons stroll through the hallways. For those who opted out of the $23 per ticket "convenience" charge online, battalion of cashiers await customers at the ticket counter. Special Super Bowl ATMs adorn the hallways. A short line to see Super Bowl rings resulted in a half-hour wait.
The Super Bowl Experience: So fans can experience pain, too
    Now that it’s Super Bowl time again, some of you might be wondering: How can I enjoy the oppressive security, the long lines and the exorbitant pricing of the NFL, without the excitement of an actual game?
   Welcome to the Super Bowl Experience.
   Lest you think you could just skate by this Super Bowl watching the game on television without giving Roger Goodell and the Minnesotans anxious to capitalize on this year’s local game some of your hard-earned cash, the league has other plans. For the common folk, who won’t be invited to the big party at the stadium next Sunday, there is the Super Bowl Experience.
   The Super Bowl Experience brings to the Minneapolis Convention Center things that you can see elsewhere after the Super Bowl at places like the Football Hall of Fame. However, in honor of the Bold North Super Bowl, they’ve been brought to downtown Minneapolis, apparently so they can be complemented by some really bad carpeting and lighting.
 For a more than nominal fee, visitors can see the Lombardi trophy (after waiting in a really long line) and Super Bowl rings (after waiting in another really long line), eat extremely overpriced fast food, and watch children run through an obstacle course (again, after waiting in a really long line.)
   As a cherished fan of the NFL, you will see friendly people when it’s time to direct you to one of the many, many, cash registers at the event. You will see unfriendly people if you approach any door that might allow you to exit the building. Beware anyone in a red shirt that says “security.” They are really, really, not nice people.
   The price for all this pre-game excitement is $35 per adult ticket. The city of Minneapolis has closed off any possibility of street parking for the event so you’ll have to pay one of the parking ramps a “special event rate” of at least $20. So, for four people, you’ll be out at least $160 before you even get in the door. Add to that at least $50 for lunch, since you won’t be allowed to leave the building once you’re in, leaving $10 cheeseburgers, $12 tacos, and some other equally overpriced fare as the only lunch options.
   And, of course, no NFL event is complete without its fan shop, so you might be tacking on $75 for a t-shirt or $250 for a jacket. The league does, after all, have to pay for that new stadium. Oh, no, wait, we paid for that.
 And, since we did, shouldn’t we be getting something for enduring all the inconvenience and nuisance of hosting the Super Bowl: the closed streets, the traffic, airplanes flying over our houses at night?
   Welcome to the Super Bowl Experience.