CSTV: College Sports Television will show the season-opening football game of New Orleans’ Tulane University versus Mississippi State on Sept. 17 at the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., as part of a special fundraiser to benefit areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
Dubbed the “Big Game for the Big Easy,” the telethon is the first built around a live sporting event, with 100% of proceeds to benefit rebuilding efforts.
The event will be widely available from CSTV’s distribution partners. DirecTV will upgrade the event to its basic tier; AOL will stream the event live; and i network (formerly Pax) will broadcast the four-hour block.
Tulane’s season opener at the University of Southern Mississippi was scheduled for Sept. 4 but after Katrina struck, the game was postponed until November. Tulane and Southern Miss, both members of Conference USA, were directly impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
Following evacuation from New Orleans, Tulane’s football team relocated throughout Texas and Mississippi. It took one week for student athletes to be placed in universities throughout the area, including Louisiana Tech. They began attending classes on Sept. 12.
Former U.S. Senator and basketball legend Bill Bradley accepted the role of chair of CSTV’s Fields & Dreams Foundation, established by CSTV Networks in partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to “help underserved elementary and junior high school students improve social, academic and personal development”.
“The Fields & Dreams Foundation wants to help the children of the region get back on the playing fields themselves, and begin to rebuild their lives, their hope, and their future,” said Bradley, “The decision by Tulane to play its full schedule of sports should help inspire all Americans to participate, not just in the relief effort, but in the rebuilding of New Orleans as well.”
Sports legends and celebrities will take pledge calls during the game, with taped and in-studio appearances from Becky Hammon and rookie of the year Temeka Johnson of the WNBA, New York Giants’ Eli Manning, Michael Strahan and Tiki Barber, hall of famer Joe Namath, actors Matthew McConaughey and Rene Russo, players from the New York Mets baseball team and celebrities performing a live concert at Lincoln Center Sept. 17.