ESPN Will Air 7th Annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney on Sept. 4

Courtesy: MEAC Media Relations
          Release: 06/29/2011
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Courtesy: MEAC Media Relations
Bethune-Cookman and Prairie View A&M set to square-off in first-ever meeting

The seventh annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney - featuring Bethune-Cookman of the MEAC against Prairie View A&M of the SWAC - will be Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011, at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, Fla. The yearly event, which features teams from two prominent Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) conferences, will be aired on ESPN at noon.

The MEAC/SWAC Challenge will be the first meeting between Bethune-Cookman and Prairie View A&M, and also the first time the programs will be participating in the event. Bethune-Cookman had one of its most successful years as the Wildcats finished the year 10-2 and played in the NCAA FCS Playoffs. Prairie View A&M finished the year with a 7-4 record.

Each year, the game pits a MEAC team against a SWAC opponent at a neutral site located within the footprint of one of the conferences. Several additional events will take place around the game, including a high school career panel and the halftime Battle of the Bands.

"The MEAC/SWAC Challenge provides great exposure to highlight the talents of our student-athletes, coaches, athletic administrators and fine institutions. More than just a game, the Challenge offers unique ancillary events and noteworthy community outreach opportunities," said Dr. Dennis E. Thomas, MEAC Commissioner. "We are elated to participate in this premier football event and commend ESPN and Disney for their commitment and support in hosting a first-class bowl-like atmosphere. This year, the MEAC is thrilled to showcase Bethune-Cookman, co-champions of the 2010 season, as they face the SWAC's Prairie View. I look forward to a competitive and exciting football matchup."

"The SWAC is excited to have Prairie View A&M represent the league for the first time at the 2011 MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney," said Duer Sharp, SWAC Commissioner. "It is a testament to the excellent coaching job of former coordinator and now new head coach Heishma Northern and the rest of the staff to have lead the Panthers back among the elite teams in HBCU football. The support that PV fans have shown through this resurgence has been impressive, and I expect to see a lot of purple and gold in Florida to open the season this year. As always, the SWAC is grateful of the tremendous support given this game by ESPN, Disney Resorts and the City of Orlando."

Tickets for the 2011 MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets.  Tickets are $30 for reserved seating and $20 for general admission, plus applicable taxes and fees.

The MEAC/SWAC Challenge is owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN. For more information about the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, or to join the event's following on Facebook and Twitter, please visit the event's official Web site at or at  

Travel options including discounted hotel accommodations, game tickets and specially-priced Theme Park Tickets are available through Anthony Travel, the official travel provider of the MEAC/SWAC Challenge. Please visit or call (888) 632-6951.

ESPN Regional Television/Event Ownership
The nation's largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, ESPN Regional Television (ERT) annually produces more than 1,200 sporting events. Content includes action from NCAA football, basketball and Olympic sports, NHRA and professional and amateur golf, accounting for more than 3,400 live and/or original hours of programming. ERT's owned and operated events reach over a million fans a year and provides more than 200 additional hours of programming.

In addition to event ownership, ERT is the production headquarters for ESPNU; syndication rights-holder and producer of national, regional and local shows for college conferences (SEC, BIG EAST, Big 12, Mid-American, WAC) and manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

ESPN Regional Television markets and/or owns several sporting events:

Collegiate Football
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg; Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); BBVA Compass Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.); MAACO Bowl Las Vegas; Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl (Honolulu); Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (Houston); MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.) and The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards

Collegiate Basketball
76 Classic (Anaheim, Calif.); Champions Classic (Madison Square Garden; debuts 2011); Charleston Classic (S.C.); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Old Spice Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan); All-College Basketball Classic (Oklahoma City) and BracketBusters

Collegiate Lacrosse
ESPNU Warrior Classic 

Hawaiian Islands Invitational (Soccer) and ESPN National Golf Challenge

For more information, visit



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