UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge to Showcase Top Local Football Talent

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Stars from Long Island and NYC to Meet in 18th Annual All-Star Game in Honor of Fight Against Cystic Fibrosis

18th annual UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge helps to fight cystic fibrosis

This game exemplifies how Corporate America is helping to make our communities a better place to work and live -- Boomer Esiason

In its eighteenth consecutive year, the UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge will highlight the brightest football talent from New York City and Long Island in an effort to raise money and awareness to fight cystic fibrosis and support youth football in the New York metropolitan area. Boomer Esiason, former NFL quarterback, CBS analyst, and chairman for the Boomer Esiason Foundation today announced the details of the event, which will be held on June 18th at the James M. Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University. Highlights of the day’s event include:

  •     UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge Sports Expo - dedicated to showcasing all of the newest and hottest sports equipment across all sports properties
  •     FanFest with Generation Jets – featuring the Generation Jets Fest, the New York Jets' interactive theme park, including inflatable rides, giveaways, field goal and passing test setups, obstacle courses
  •     Buffalo Wild Wings VIP Tailgate Party – marquee pre-game party to kick off the day's football fun with tailgate food and music. Tailgate tickets are available for purchase in advance and include admission to the game (additional info below)
  •     Game Day Raffle – with prizes including signed memorabilia, Under Armor performance gear, and tickets to local sporting events

Created in 1996 by Boomer Esiason, the UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge acts as a fundraising benefit for the Boomer Esiason Foundation, the Gunnar H. Esiason Endowment Scholarship Fund at Hofstra University, as well as local youth football programs, and has grown to become a crowning achievement for high school football players throughout the New York metropolitan area.

A number of local and international companies have teamed up with the Boomer Esiason Foundation, including UnitedHealthcare, USA Football, the New York Jets and many others, and they aim to raise significant funds via the event. “UnitedHealthcare is committed to helping improve the health of our communities so we are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Boomer Esiason and his foundation,” said Bill Golden, chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare of New York. “While the Empire Challenge recognizes the best area high school football players, the funds raised not only help fund cystic fibrosis research but also support local youth sports programs to help kids get active – and start them on a path to a lifetime of physical activity and wellness.”

The Boomer Esiason Foundation, which boasts a long tradition of fund raising in conjunction with these trusted companies, to date has raised $100 million. “The support these companies have provided to the Boomer Esiason Foundation is a great example of how corporate America can make an impact in bettering the communities where employees work and live,” said Esiason. “Their support for the Foundation will be used to improve the lives of all those afflicted with cystic fibrosis.”

Kickoff for the event is set for 7:30 p.m., with gates opening at 6:30 p.m. A series of pre-game ceremony activities are also planned. Tickets are $15 per person and are available at the James M. Shuart Stadium ticket booth on game day, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The Boomer Esiason Foundation
The Boomer Esiason Foundation is a dynamic partnership of leaders in the medical and business communities joining with a committed core of volunteers to heighten awareness, education and quality of life for those affected by cystic fibrosis, while providing financial support to research aimed at finding a cure. For more information, please visit http://www.esiason.org

June 18 Game Day Events

UnitedHealthcare Sports Expo
This year, the game and its surrounding events will keep the same traditions but will feature an exciting new twist . UnitedHealthcare Sports Expo will include a wide range of activities sure to keep the whole family entertained.

Time: 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: James M. Shuart Stadium concourse
Admission: Free

Fanfest with Generation Jets Fest
Fans of all ages will be able to participate in Fan Fest which features Generation
Jets Fest. Generation Jets Fest, the New York Jets' interactive theme park includes inflatable rides, giveaways and fun for the whole family. Come out and kick a field goal, race through the obstacle challenge and test your passing skills.

Time: 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.                                                
Location: James M. Shuart Stadium
Parking Lot at Hofstra University
Admission: Free

Buffalo Wild Wings VIP Tailgate Party
This pre-game party is a great way to kick off the day's football fun. Food will be provided while you enjoy music. Tailgate tickets are available for purchase in advance; admission to the game is included with your tailgate ticket purchase. To buy tickets, please call 516.746.0077.

Time: 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Location: James M. Shuart Stadium
Parking Lot at Hofstra University
Admission: $100 per person (children 3 and under are free)


  •     Madison Rising to honor America with the National Anthem
  •     Color Guard: The NY Air National Guard's 106th Rescue Wing, FS

Gabreski Air National Guard Base Westhampton Beach, NY

  •     Flyover by the Geico Sky Typers

New York City Department of Sanitation Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band

The Timothy M. O’Brien Most Valuable Player, the Player of the Game Award, and the UnitedHealthcare Cup will be presented immediately following the conclusion of the game.

MSG Networks Coverage
The UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge will air on the MSG Plus+ Network, MSG Network and MSG Varsity.

MSG Varsity Network: Tuesday, June 18 (Live) at 7:30pm
Friday, June 21 at 7 pm
Sunday, June 23 at 9 am
Friday, July 26 at 7 pm
Sunday July 28 at 9 am
Sunday, August 25 at 9 am
Friday, August 30 at 7 pm

MSG Network: Saturday, July 6 at 2:00pm and Sunday, July 14 at 6:00pm
MSG+ Network: and Sunday, July 14 at 3:00pm
Game Day Media Credentials

Media interested in attending the game must formally submit a credential request via the Empire Challenge Web site (http://www.empirechallenge.com/media-credentials.aspx) no later than Thursday, June 13. Each media personnel attending the game must submit an individual credential request via the web site. Media credentials will be available at the Will Call Window at the ticket booth at the southwest corner of the stadium’s main entrance on game day. Please present photo identification at the ticket booth. Will Call will be staffed from 3:00-8:00 p.m. General Admission ticket gates will open at 6:30 p.m.

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