Thirty-two games at 30 stadiums in 74 days. That’s the goal Ryan Bailey has set to complete a football-watching marathon in early December and earn a place in the Guinness World Records.
The old record was set in 2019 by Jacob Barnor, an NFL super fan from the United Kingdom, who accomplished the same feat in only 84 days. Bailey’s motivation to beat the record comes from the heart.
“My dad and I would always watch football, and we always talked about going to all these stadiums. His health declined and he could never make it to these games. I mentioned it to him before he passed away and he thought that would be pretty cool,” said Bailey, 33, of Charlotte.
It’s not an easy feat. Bailey, a University of South Carolina alumna, averages over three games a week just to stay on track.
“Wednesday, I fly to Thursday’s game. Sunday, I fly to Sunday’s game. Sunday or Monday I travel to Monday’s game so I’m in an airport all week,” said Bailey.
The Falcons’ game on Nov. 18 marked number 23 for Bailey. He often recruits friends to join him for the ride and they say Ryan has never been afraid to seek new experiences.
“He loves travelling, he got me into it. But being able to take this to the next level of excitement. It’s not just traveling but we’re going to all these different cities, he tells me about the food,” said David Bates, Ryan’s friend from White knoll high school in Lexington.
To make the feat an official Guinness World Record, Bailey must get to the stadium early, have people to verify he’s there by taking a picture and watch the entire game.
More than three dozen games mean thousands of miles of travel. With flights, gas and tickets, Bailey says this record isn’t cheap.
“The original budget was to keep this around 10 grand but roughly I’m on pace for around $7,800 dollars,” said Bailey.
Despite the expenses, having his name in a record book is worth the price.
“It’s just the experience, It’s all part of the story,” he said.
He’s expected to become the official Guinness World Record holder after the Steelers and Vikings face off on Dec. 9.