July 26, 2010: NFL training camps are just now opening for business for the 2010 season, but ESPN is partying like its Super Bowl XLV, which will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
ESPN said it would set up shop in Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth as its production headquarters for Super Bowl XLV. ESPN said it plans 80 hours of TV coverage, as well as ESPN Radio shows and other related content across ESPN’s multimedia platforms, beginning Monday, Jan. 31, 2011.
Super Bowl XLV will be played on Feb. 6, 2010 and broadcast on Fox. Fort Worth will also be the host city for the Super Bowl XLV team from the AFC.
ESPN also said that ESPN the Magazine has selected Fort Worth as the site for its annual NEXT event, with the venue to be unveiled later this year.
ESPN programming scheduled to originate from Sundance Square throughout the week include daily editions of Mike & Mike in the Morning, SportsCenter, NFL Live and a special three-hour edition of Sunday NFL Countdown on Super Bowl Sunday. Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Ron Jaworski, Keyshawn Johnson and Steve Young are among the former NFL players-turned-ESPN commentators expected to be featured.
“The city and business leaders from Fort Worth and Sundance Square have welcomed ESPN with open arms, and we are thrilled that our production headquarters, ESPN The Magazine’s NEXT party and other related events will originate from this world-class destination throughout the week of Super Bowl XLV,” ESPN evp John Skipper said regarding the alliance.
According to Sundance Square developer Ed Bass, “This is one of the biggest broadcasting opportunities we have ever hosted. As the cultural heart of the city, Sundance Square offers the perfect location, availability of space, and built-in audience where ESPN can interact with our visitors. ESPN will benefit from this dynamic urban environment and Fort Worth will be showcased as a vibrant, authentic, and diverse city to millions of people across the country.”
ESPN said it selected Sundance Square for its ability to showcase the historic Tarrant County Courthouse, skyscrapers and the notable settings in and around Sundance Square. ESPN will construct a large outdoor set in the Chisholm Trail lot at the heart of Sundance Square with Richard Haas’ three-story trompe l’oeil The Chisholm Trail mural as the backdrop. A separate ESPN Radio set and a demonstration field will also be built in this area. Equipment and production trucks will sit adjacent to the Chisholm Trail lot on the parking lot near the Flying Saucer.
“I can not think of a better partner for Fort Worth than ESPN,” Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief said during the unveiling event. “Super Bowl week is going to be very special for our citizens and ESPN will add to the excitement. We welcome the ESPN team into our family.”