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PR- 307-08
AUGUST 12, 2008


Portions of the Free Public Concert at Columbus Circle Featuring Usher

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell today announced that New York City will host NFL Opening Kickoff 2008 Presented by EA Sports, a free concert and special pregame event at Columbus Circle to celebrate the New York Giants Super Bowl Championship and kick off the NFL’s 89th season. The event will feature performances by Usher and Keith Urban, and portions of the concert will air live on the NFL Network on Thursday, September 4 starting at 3:30 p.m. ET, prior to the first game of the season between the Giants and the Washington Redskins.

“In less than a month, the Giants will begin their 2008 season as defending champions, and what better way to kick things off then with a free concert in our recently rebuilt Columbus Circle,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The NFL Kickoff concert at Times Square in 2002 served as a great showcase of the City’s vibrancy, and the concert at Columbus Circle promises to be just as great a success.”

“We are pleased to return to New York City to salute the Super Bowl champion New York Giants and celebrate the start of the 2008 NFL season,” said Commissioner Goodell. “We had a tremendous experience in 2002 in Times Square prior to the first season opener on a Thursday night and look forward to working with Mayor Bloomberg and the City on another pregame music and football event.”

The concert will be free and open to the public and will not require tickets. Fans will be able to enter the concert on 58th Street and 7th Avenue and will line up along Central Park South. Further details on the concert will be made available in the coming weeks on and and through 311.

In addition to airing live on NFL Network, portions of the pregame broadcast also will be streamed on and will be available via NFL Mobile Live only from Sprint. NBC will air concert highlights as part of its one-hour NFL/NBC Fall Preview on Friday, September 5 at 9:00 p.m.

The event, an NFL Network Production, will be produced and directed by White Cherry Entertainment, one of the producers of the Super Bowl pregame and halftime shows. In addition to presenting sponsor EA Sports, top tier sponsors for the NFL’s Kickoff platform include Coors Light, GMC, Pepsi and Sprint and associate sponsors include Gatorade, Nike and Visa.

This is the fifth consecutive year the NFL has saluted the Super Bowl champions with the opening game in their stadium on a Thursday in primetime. Since 2002, the NFL has kicked off its season with a concert in the city hosting the first game of the year:

2002 - Times Square in New York City - Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias, Alicia Keys, Eve and the cast of the Broadway musical Rent with Joey Fatone of *NSYNC

2003 - The National Mall in Washington, DC - Aerosmith, Mary J. Blige, Aretha Franklin, Britney Spears and Good Charlotte

2004 - Gillette Stadium in New England and Metropolitan Park in Jacksonville – The Boston Pops, Mary J. Blige, Destiny’s Child, Elton John, Toby Keith and Lenny Kravitz in New England, and Jessica Simpson in Jacksonville

2005 - Gillette Stadium in New England and the Los Angeles Coliseum - Green Day, Santana, Michelle Branch, Ozzy Osbourne and Trisha Yearwood in New England, Kanye West, Maroon 5, Good Charlotte and Rihanna in Los Angeles and the Rolling Stones by video

2006 - Heinz Field in Pittsburgh and Miami - Rascal Flatts and Martina McBride in Pittsburgh, Diddy, Cassie, Yung Joc and Tego Calderon in Miami

2007 - RCA Dome in Indianapolis - John Mellencamp, Faith Hill, Kelly Clarkson, Hinder, Keyshia Cole and Voices of Unity Youth Choir

2008 - Columbus Circle in New York City - Keith Urban and Usher

Like in 2002, this year the NFL will make significant contributions to the City, including sponsorship of athletic clinics in parks, restoration of fields like Brooklyn’s Midwood Field, and support for other City programs through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.


Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent   (212) 788-2958

Joanna Hunter (NFL)   (212) 450-2449

Tiffany Townsend (NYC & Co.)   (212) 484-1247

Jonnetta Patton (Usher)   (770) 416-8619

Paul Freundlich (Keith Urban)   (212) 334-6116

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