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Sundance Square prepares for time in college football spotlight

ESPN is bringing its College GameDay broadcast to Sundance Square to open and close the college football season this year. Formally known as ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot, the weekly three-hour, Emmy Award-winning show, which airs locally 9 a.m.-noon on Saturdays, will open on Aug. 30 in advance of the Cowboys Classic. The annual neutral-site matchup from AT&T Stadium in Arlington will pit defending national champion Florida State against Oklahoma State later that evening.

SportsCenter segments will begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 29 from Sundance Square, and College Football Live will originate from the GameDay set at 2:30 p.m. “We can’t think of a better place to kick off the College GameDay season than the location that will host the first College Football National Championship in January,” said Lee Fitting, ESPN senior coordinating producer. “We’ve had great luck in Fort Worth with ESPN’s Super Bowl and Final Four coverage, and now we have a matchup that includes the defending national champions, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and a perennial top-25 team. These two teams are known for their passionate fan bases, so we challenge them to come out in full force on the opening Saturday.”

The opener will be connected to the Florida State-Oklahoma State Aug. 30 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. “They’d like to see a 10,000-person crowd,” Sundance Square CEO Johnny Campbell told the Fort Worth City Council earlier in August. The closer will be the first-ever college National Championship Game, Jan. 12 at AT&T Stadium. “They’re saying they are having a bigger production than they had for the Super Bowl,” Campbell said. “When we see those cutaway views, we’re going to be looking at Fort Worth, and that’s big stuff for the city,” Campbell said.

The Fort Worth Chamber is asking those attending any of the events at Sundance Square to take to social media about their experiences. From 1:00 til 2:00 on Friday, the chamber  is asking residents to wear their favorite team’s colors in recognition of National College Colors Day in preparation of Saturday’s kick off to college football. – This includes information from the Business Press’ archives. 

Several Fort Worth companies will be involved in the events.

Last fall, Fort Worth-based audio, visual and lighting company, Electro Acoustics (EA), outfitted the Plaza with outdoor speakers, a video projector and a portable video screen. “The planners for Sundance Square Plaza were true visionaries in their desire to install such high-level equipment,” Chris Jordan, founder and president of EA, said. “The Plaza and its capabilities have shined a spotlight on Fort Worth, and will be the home of many more events in years to come.”  

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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