NEW YORK – The NFL welcomes fans back for the 2021 season with 2021 NFL KICKOFF PRESENTED BY EA SPORTS MADDEN NFL 22. Four-time GRAMMY award-winning singer, songwriter ED SHEERAN will perform live at JULIAN B. LANE RIVERFRONT PARK in Tampa prior to the Cowboys - Buccaneers game at Raymond James Stadium.
To further celebrate the return to football, the 2021 KICKOFF EXPERIENCE PRESENTED BY EA SPORTS MADDEN NFL 22 will take place starting at 12:00 PM ET on Thursday, September 9 at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. Kickoff Experience is free and open to the public on a first-come, first serve basis and the NFL OnePass app is required for admission.
Attractions at 2021 Kickoff Experience will bring fans closer to the NFL through football-themed interactive games and other activities including:
- Appearances by Buccaneers Legends
- Photo ops with the Vince Lombardi Trophy and all 55 Super Bowl rings
- NFL Kickoff Photo Frames
- Bud Light Legends Bar
NFL Network’s KIMMI CHEX will host festivities on the Kickoff Experience Stage with guest hosts comedian/actor DESI BANKS and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Team Reporter CASEY PHILLIPS.
Activities on the Kickoff Experience Stage will highlight the local Tampa Bay community with featured appearances by the Florida A&M University Marching Band, Buccaneers cheerleaders, mascot and drumline, local musicians, NFL Legends, and more.
At approximately 7:00 PM ET ED SHEERAN - who recently unveiled “Bad Habits,” his first official new release since 2019 - will take the stage for a headline performance. To date, Sheeran has amassed more than 60 billion streams and sold over 50 million albums.
Sheeran’s performance will be streamed in full on NFL.com, the NFL app, and on select NFL social media accounts. Portions of the performance will be televised in NBC and NFL Network’s pregame show coverage.
Following Ed Sheeran’s performance, fans are encouraged to stay for the 2021 NFL KICKOFF WATCH PARTY and view the Cowboys – Buccaneers game live on screens throughout Julian B. Lane Park. Fans are invited to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets to enjoy the game comfortably. Access to the Watch Party is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis and the NFL OnePass app is required for admission.
In addition to the live telecast of NFL Kickoff on NBC and live stream on Peacock, the Cowboys – Buccaneers game will be streamed live across all devices via NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, NFL.com, and the NFL app. Additionally, fans on mobile devices can stream the game via the Cowboys and Buccaneers mobile properties, Yahoo Sports, and other Verizon Media and NFL properties. Live audio coverage of the game will be broadcast nationally by Westwood One Radio and carried on SiriusXM, TuneIn, and Game Pass. Universo’s Spanish language coverage will begin at 8 PM ET.
NBC Sports’ Football Night in America team will be live on-site at Raymond James Stadium for pregame coverage beginning at 7 PM ET. AL MICHAELS will call the action alongside CRIS COLLINSWORTH. MICHELE TAFOYA will report from Raymond James Stadium. Three-time Super Bowl referee TERRY MCAULAY is the Sunday Night Football rules analyst.
In addition to presenting sponsor EA Sports Madden NFL 22, top-tier sponsors for NFL Kickoff include Bud Light, Microsoft, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Smirnoff, SNICKERS and Verizon.
On Wednesday, September 8 at 10 PM ET, fans can tune in to “2021 NFL Kickoff Presented by Castrol" on NFL Network. Additionally, editions of “NFL GameDay Kickoff” air on Thursday, September 9 at 3 PM and 6 PM ET on NFL Network, with Emmy-nominated host RICH EISEN, Pro Football Hall of Famers KURT WARNER and MICHAEL IRVIN, former NFL head coach STEVE MARIUCCI, NFL Network Insider IAN RAPOPORT and analytics expert CYNTHIA FRELUND.