Plans for the 10th annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration were announced Monday, less than two months before thousands converge for the first and only gospel event sanctioned by the NFL for Super Bowl Weekend.
Scheduled for Friday, Jan. 30, 2009, the "10th Anniversary Super Bowl Gospel Celebration" will be held in Tampa Bay at the University of South Florida's SunDome and feature Gospel superstars including Marvin Sapp, Mary Mary and Hezekiah Walker. The 2009 concert will also feature the return of the NFL Players All-Star Choir.
"We are honored to continue our longstanding partnership with the NFL in producing what has emerged as the premiere, family-oriented entertainment event where players and fans can come together and share in an inspirational evening during Super Bowl weekend," commented Melanie Few, founder and president of Results, Inc., which produces the annual concert event.
"Through official sanctioning, a highly coveted designation, which grants us official usage of the NFL brand and logo, the 'Super Bowl Gospel Celebration' attracts marquee players and corporate partners as well as capacity crowds in each host city," she added.
Since its inception, the "Super Bowl Gospel Celebration" has drawn crowds in the thousands and has demonstrated growth year-over-year, with recent sellouts of venues in major markets hosting the Super Bowl including Miami, Detroit, Jacksonville, Houston, and Phoenix. The idea behind the event is to provide athletes and fans a safe, entertaining venue to celebrate the Super Bowl and also to be inspired by the uplifting sounds and rich culture of Gospel music.
Among the highlights of the event is the NFL Players All-Star Choir, which made its debut at the 2008 show under the direction of Grammy award-winning Gospel star Donnie McClurkin. The choir consisted of more than 32 players including league stars and longtime event supporters such as Michael Gaines (Bills), Ovie Mughelli (Falcons), Richard Seymour (Patriots), Troy Vincent (Redskins/Retired), and Pro Bowlers Tommie Harris (Bears) and Ray Lewis (Ravens).
"The unveiling of the players' choir at last year's show in Phoenix generated overwhelming excitement and we are planning for an encore performance in Tampa that will be equally as memorable," Few commented.
More than a concert, the event also serves as a local outreach as well as a fundraiser, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting national and local charities. Over the past nine years, over $200,000 has been raised for special causes.
The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration also features inspirational messages from some of the NFL's key players. Past participants include Tony Dungy, Jerry Rice, John Elway, Chris Carter, Kurt Warner and Deion Sanders.
"It's the big game and a big weekend so we are planning the biggest 'Super Bowl Gospel Celebration' ever with more players and an unprecedented roster of Gospel stars," Few exclaimed.
Tickets are available purchase via Ticketmaster outlets nationwide. A free pre-show concert has also been scheduled prior to the main event that will showcase local talent from the Super Bowl host community, including gospel/contemporary choirs, duos and soloists.
Few says the pre-show event is a way to express gratitude to the faith-based community in each city.
On the Web:
More information on the 10th Anniversary Super Bowl Gospel Celebration at superbowlgospelcelebration.com