ESPN and the Walt Disney World Resort are again offering fans the opportunity to see and hear many ESPN personalities, including “Mike & Mike in the Morning” co-hosts Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, who are celebrating their 10years together next week. In addition, current and legendary athletes on hand include Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia and former Heisman Trophy winner and current University of South Carolina football coachSteve Spurrier. ESPN The Weekend presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods, Feb. 25-28, is a one-of-a-kind sports-themed special event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park and the newly re-imagined ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Additionally, ESPN personalities John Anderson, Tedy Bruschi, Colin Cowherd, Ron Jaworski, Karl Ravech, Sage Steele, Dick Vitale and Trey Wingo are scheduled to participate, along with more than 30 athletes, including running back Maurice Jones-Drew, tight end Jason Witten, kicker Adam Vinatieri and safety Brian Dawkins; New York Yankees CC Sabathia and Joba Chamberlain; MLB legends Curt Schilling, Bernie Williams and Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Jim Palmer; NFL Hall of Famers Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Darrell Green; former LPGA golfer Annika Sorenstam; and U.S. Olympic gold medalists Shawn Johnson and Brandi Chastain, among many others. The ESPN personalities and sports celebrities expected to attend the sixth annual event are listed at www.espntheweekend.com (Click on Who’s Coming).
ESPN The Weekend will feature on-site telecasts of popular ESPN programs (beginning Thursday, Feb. 25), including “Baseball Tonight,” “First Take,” “Mike & Mike in the Morning,” “NFL Live” and interview segments on “SportsCenter”; motorcades and Q&A sessions with athletes and ESPN personalities; Inside ESPN sports shows with commentators and athletes; live ESPN Radio broadcasts; and the ESPN Sports Zone interactive area. Dick’s Sporting Goods will serve as presenting sponsor of the event for the fourth consecutive year.
This year, the event branches out to the soon-to-be relaunched ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, formerly Disney’s Wide World of Sports, for a special performance by the Harlem Globetrotters (Feb 25) and two days of Major League soccer action, which help kick off the grand opening of the 220-acre multi-sport venue.
To find the latest updates on Twitter for ESPN The Weekend, go to @DisneySports and search #ESPNWKND.
Live On-Site ESPN Telecasts
ESPN will present live telecasts – including “First Take” and “NFL Live” from a set in front of Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat on Hollywood Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Park guests will have a chance to appear on-air via crowd shots while watching the programming on video screens. Popular ESPN Radio shows “Mike & Mike in the Morning” and “The Herd”with Colin Cowherd will be broadcast live from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Feb. 25-26. As Major League Baseball Spring Training games get underway in Florida, ESPN’s on-site program lineup will feature a special two-hour “Baseball Tonight” with host Karl Ravech and analysts John Kruk, Bobby Valentine and Chris Singleton from the theme park Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. ET as ESPN’s popular baseball news, information and highlights show kicks off its 21st season.
Mike & Mike Celebrate 10 Years Together
ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike in the Morning”will celebrate the show’s 10th anniversary at the newly re-imagined ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort on Wednesday, Feb. 24 (6-10 a.m. ET). ESPN Radio’s popular morning-drive show hosted by Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic launched in January 2000. Today the show is heard (and seen on ESPN2) by more than 12 million listeners each week on more than 350 stations nationwide.
Live stage shows will bring fans and guests behind-the-scenes of some of the network’s most popular programs, including “SportsCenter,” “Baseball Tonight,” “First Take,” “NFL Live” and “Stump the Schwab.” The shows will provide an inside look at favorite athletes, teams and ESPN programs. Fans can get into the action themselves by asking questions directly to ESPN personalities and athletes.
Dream Job – The Experience
Guests who think they have what it takes to be on “SportsCenter”can experience what it’s like to audition for ESPN. Select contestants will go through a series of on-air tasks and the audience will select the best sportscaster during each show. ESPN personalities and sports celebrities will help mentor contestants as part of the experience.
Motorcades and Conversations
Periodically throughout each day, sports stars will motorcade up Hollywood Boulevard to the stage at the base of Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat and join ESPN commentators for conversations about their careers and Q&A sessions with park guests.
ESPN Sports Zone Interactive Area
The ESPN Sports Zone will give guests of all ages the opportunity to test their skills at a wide variety of sports. MLB-, NBA-, NFL- and BASS-themed interactive areas within the Zone will have fans swinging for the fences, shooting baskets and throwing passes, as well as Dick’s Sporting Goods’ Sports Caravan, a multi-sport interactive area.
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Re-Launch Event
ESPN innovation and entertainment joins the magic and hospitality of Walt Disney World Resort when the gates open with a special grand opening event at the newly re-imagined ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Feb. 25. Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver ChadOchocinco, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall, and a number of other popular athletes and ESPN personalities are expected to be in attendance, along withGeorge Bodenheimer, president, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports and co-chairman Disney Media Networks, Meg Crofton, president, Walt Disney World Resort, and Ken Potrock, senior vice president, Disney Sports Enterprises. From a state-of-the-art digital center to professionally kept fields and courts, there will be no other sports facility like this on Earth. Key festivities include a special grand opening ceremony, live ESPN Radio broadcasts and a variety of sports competitions. Opened originally as Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in 1997, the multi-sport complex annually hosts more than 300 events a year, including Atlanta Braves Spring Training at Champion Stadium.
The world-famous Harlem Globetrotters take center court to help tip off the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex relaunch Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. The clown princes of basketball, including Globetrotter stars Special K Daley, Flight Time Lang and Big Easy Lofton, have entertained fans for more than 84 seasons and boast over 23,000 wins. This special performance will feature Greenberg and Golic as honorary coaches, along with a number of other popular athletes and ESPN personalities joining in on the fun at The Milk House. The game will air on ESPN2 the following day, Friday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m., and ESPN’s Emerging Technology Group will use the game as a test for the company’s planned ESPN 3D network launch this summer.
5K Road Race and Fun Run
The Champion 5K returns for its second year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 7 a.m., challenging runners along the course with ESPN and sports trivia and will feature athletes and ESPN personalities, including John Anderson, Dana Jacobson andTrey Wingo. The 5K will benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research, and all participants will receive a T-shirt and finisher’s medal. There will also be a Fun Run for kids at 8 a.m. To register, visit www.disneyenduranceseries.com.
Major League Soccer at ESPN Wide World of Sports
Helping kick off the relaunch at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, four Major League Soccer clubs, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC, will compete in the inaugural Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic Feb. 25 and 27. On Thursday, Feb. 25, the Houston Dynamo faces the New York Red Bulls at 6 p.m., followed by FC Dallas versus Toronto FC at 8:30 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 27, the two losing teams will kick off at 6 p.m., with the two winners playing in the championship game at 8:30 p.m.
Ticketing and Admission
Event activities are included in regular admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Walt Disney World innovative ticket pricing system, Magic Your Way, provides guests with the opportunity to customize their vacations and Florida residents can save on tickets all year long. Separate tickets must be purchased for events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.