WASHINGTON - A Classic is marching into D.C.! The Nation's Football Classic. a football game featuring teams from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), will be held annually in September at RFK Stadium, the Washington Convention and Sports Authority announced today during a reception at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. D.C.'s newest sports tradition kicks off with Howard University and Morehouse College renewing the historic rivalry between two premier institutions rich in heritage and tradition on and off the field. The inaugural game is September 10, 2011 at 3:30 p.m.
"The WCSA is thrilled to expand our showcase of college football in the nation's capital with both the Military Bowl and now the Nation's Football Classic™ being held annually at RFK Stadium," said Erik A. Moses, managing director of the WCSA's Sports, Entertainment and Special Events Division. "Football fans, alumni and students along the east coast can reunite each year to enjoy the pageantry, excitement and camaraderie of the black college football experience. The game is certainly the highlight of the weekend but our event offerings will include an educational component, a step show, a Fan Festival and of course plenty of tailgating."
In demonstrating the commitment to education, UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is a founding partner. UNCF, which is moving its corporate headquarters to Washington, D.C. in 2012, provides scholarships and institution support that enables more than 60,000 students to attend college each year and serves as a national advocate for the importance of minority education.
The WCSA and UNCF are partnering to bring the organization's HBCU Empower Me Tour to the Washington Convention Center. The day-long program will feature workshops, panel discussions, celebrity meet and greets, live entertainment and interactive exhibits focused on college readiness, health and wellness, career readiness and financial education for middle school, high school and college students.
"UNCF is excited about partnering with WCSA to bring this weekend of fun and information to Washington, D.C.," said Michael L. Lomax, PhD., UNCF president and CEO. "The UNCF HBCU Empower Me Tour communicates to students the importance of college and career readiness, as well as service to communities and the country, which is a long tradition and critical component of an HBCU education. UNCF is committed to helping ensure that every child gets a good education from pre-school thru college, empowering them to become the next generation of college-educated professionals, good citizens and effective leaders."
In signifying the Classic's potential economic growth, top elected officials from both Washington, D.C. and Atlanta are supportive of the Classic.
"Washington has a proud football heritage and I am grateful that Washington area sports fans will have the opportunity to experience a classic black college game each year right in their backyard," said District of Columbia Mayor Vincent C. Gray. "Adding economic impact events such as this only enhances our city's vitality as a sports market. We are truly becoming the 'nation's sports capital'."
"This game between Morehouse College in Atlanta, my hometown, and Howard University, where I attended both college and law school, represents the best of both worlds for me," said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. "There are no losers with this matchup. As someone who has experienced this rivalry first-hand, I know intense anticipation around the country begins today."
The announcement includes the unveiling of the Classic logo, featuring monuments symbolic of the nation's capital, football elements including a high-stepping drum major and the four pillars representing the Classic's mission.
2011 Nation's Football Classic™ Schedule of Events
Friday, September 9, 2011 ~ UNCF HBCU Empower Me Tour, Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Friday, September 9, 2011~ Nation's Football Classic™ Step Show, DC Armory
Saturday, September 10, 2011 ~ Fan Festival, RFK Stadium Festival Grounds
Saturday, September 10, 2011 ~ Nation's Football Classic,™ RFK Stadium
Nation's Football Classic™ Mission
The Nation's Football Classic™ was created to celebrate the passion and tradition of the college football experience, recognize the history of service to others by the students, faculty and alumni of historically black colleges and universities, highlight the unity of African American culture, and honor the heritage and excellence of these proud institutions.
Future Game Dates
September 10, 2011
September 1, 2012
September 7, 2013
About the Washington Convention and Sports Authority: The Washington Convention and Sports Authority (WCSA) creates economic and community benefits for the District through the attraction and promotion of hospitality, athletic, entertainment and cultural events. The Authority owns and manages the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District's hospitality and tourism economy that generates over $400 million annually in total economic impact for the city. The Authority also owns and manages the Stadium-Armory campus, which includes Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, the DC Armory and the surrounding Festival Grounds, and serves as the owner and landlord for Nationals Park.