LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., August 23, 2011—With the start of football season just a couple of weeks away, Central Florida is gearing up to shine in the national spotlight with a Disney-sponsored football game showcasing teams from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the Mid-Eastern and Southwestern Athletic Conferences. Scheduled to be broadcast across the networks of ESPN this Labor Day Weekend, the 7th Annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney will bring tens of thousands of fans and a positive economic impact to Central Florida.
One of Central Florida’s own universities, Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, will face-off against Texas’ Prairie View A&M University in the big game that will once again kick-off the 2011 HBCU football season at noon, Sunday, Sept. 4 at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando.
For years, Walt Disney World has played a role in bringing some of the best HBCU football teams in the country to Orlando to highlight talented and diverse student athletes on a national stage.
Eugene Campbell, vice president of Domestic Minority Business Development for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, says Disney is pleased to celebrate this annual football tradition and the monumental effort that goes into the development of a young athlete.
“The MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney is more than a game - it’s a celebration of determination and passion that the players possess both on and off the field,” says Campbell. “We have a long history of supporting the African-American community and we're proud to build on this legacy by supporting the 25 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Mid-Eastern and Southwestern Athletic Conferences.”
In the days leading up to the battle on the gridiron several other events will take place, including the ESPN 101 Panel at Jones High School on Sept. 1 where former athletes, sports personalities and professionals will share their insights and advice about careers in sports and related fields.
On Saturday, Sept. 3 the Legends Reception at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, will honor prominent graduates of HBCU’s, including Navy Vice Admiral David Brewer III, world-renowned poet, writer and activist Nikki Giovanni, NFL Hall of Famer Ken Houston, former Miami Dolphins player Larry Little and three-time NFL Pro Bowler Robert Porcher III.
The thousands of fans visiting the region for the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney will also be able to take full advantage of the weekend of activities with the Pregame Praise at Tinker Field and The Great Heart & Soul Tailgate before the game on Sunday, Sept. 4.
“We look forward to welcoming the players, coaches and fans of these great schools to what promises to be a weekend of outstanding competition,” adds Campbell. For more information about the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney, visit meacswacchallenge.com