Football action is only a month away — finally — and the closest NFL experience continues to be the Dallas Cowboys training camp, which will run July 24-Aug. 15 in Oxnard, 60 miles from Los Angeles.
As in past years, fans can watch free of charge (parking is $10). The camp will hold a special opening ceremony and practice at 3 p.m. July 24.
NFL camps are one of the few opportunities to see players up close, without paying an arm and a leg and another arm for game seats. There are bleachers at the Oxnard complex, or you can take a blanket and camp out in the shady end zone. Cowboy practices usually attract crowds of 1,000-2,000.
Autographs, available in a kid-friendly area known as Autograph Alley, are generally easy to obtain, though not guaranteed.
The big attraction is to see the players and coaches in action.
Most practices begin at 4 p.m., though dates and times vary. As camp nears, check the Cowboys website.
Fans can see live performances by team mascot Rowdy and visit food booths and souvenir stands.
Directions: North on the 101 toward Ventura, exiting Vineyard. Left on Vineyard. Training camp is 1.5 miles down Vineyard, just past Ventura Road. It is the same River Ridge complex that the Cowboys have used in the past.