In just a little more than a month, Central State University will be playing against Morehouse College at the 17th Annual Chicago Football Classic. The kickoff will happen at Solider Field, Sept. 20, at 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling (773) 874-8000 x4024 or by visiting Chicagofootballclassics.biz. They range from $17 to $45.
Officials will release more details on what attendees can expect at this year’s game on Monday at a news conference.
The 17th Annual Chicago Football Classic is returning to Soldier Field Sept. 20, with Central State University and Morehouse College competing. Co-founder Everett Rand announced the details of the three-day event outside of Soldier Field Monday.
“The Chicago Football Classic involves everyone from the community because that’s what it’s about,” Rand said.
Co-title sponsors BMO Harris Bank and Sherman Dodge of Skokie, along with partners, elected officials like Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-IL) and 8th Ward Ald. Michelle Harris stood in support of the annual event. Some explained why it’s important to get involved and how the Chicago Football Classic is about more than just football.
“Our children come and see examples of Black men who own businesses, this is about exposing our kids to an event they don’t see and it is also a positive experience,” Harris said.
“Come out to support something for us, by us,” she said.
This year the Jackie Robinson West Team, who made it into the Little League World Series, will be honored. The Chicago Football Classic consists of a college fair, where students are exposed to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Officials said they expect more than 50,000 attendees this year.
The HBCU College and Empowerment Fair will start at 10 a.m., with registration at 9:30 a.m. There will also be a raffle where people purchase $5 tickets for a chance of winning a 2014 Dodge Challenger. The funds will go towards a scholarship fund.
Hip-hop artist Spenzo is the Chicago Football Classic Entertainment Ambassador this year. The 19-year-old is from the Englewood community.
“I watched the Classic throughout my high school years and what I have to say about it is the event is always memorable and the people who come always say they have a good time,” he said.
“The Classic gives our culture, it gives our race, it gives everybody from Chicago hope and it gives them faith and let’s them know that you can really find a way out, not just through academics and sports, there are a variety of ways, whatever your calling is, just pursue it and don’t let no one tell you no,” the artist said, adding that this event is about the youth, a group he said he believes he represents.
Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church, 1210 W 78th Place, said that the Chicago Football Classic gives youth an opportunity to showcase their skills. He said people should support this positive event by purchasing tickets. Events like this can also give youth an alternative to the streets.
“I am absolutely convinced and know without a doubt, we can not just lower the numbers in Chicago, that’s good, but we can end the numbers in Chicago and every child can be safe,” he said.
Walgreens is selling tickets and has agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds to benefit its “Stop the Violence Campaign.” Some of the proceeds will go to local charities.
To learn more about how the Chicago Football Classic started, click HERE.