Fantasy football has an estimated 30 million players nationwide, a TV sitcom built around it and, now, its own convention produced by the same people who run Comic Con.
The first Fantasy Football Fest will be held at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City this weekend, a two-day event expected to attract 25,000 fans who will participate in fantasy drafts while they meet and maybe pick up a few tips from real NFL veterans, including Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Bruce Smith.
"Our whole world is focused on awesome fan experiences," says Greg Topalian, senior vice president of ReedPOP, whose company organizes not only major comic book conventions, but a penny arcade expo, "Star Wars" celebrations, and an Ultimate Fighting expo. "We felt like this is a similar type of community, really passionate.
"There's been no physical way to do a draft and enjoy fantasy with friends and the rest of the football community."
Now, there will be, and Topalian sees the attraction of the festival as more about every aspect of football. But with fantasy at the core.
"Football is also a lifestyle thing, so we will have tailgating, beer-tasting, all part of being a fantasy player and a fan," he said.