HOOPS IN THE LOOP: Chicago Theatre to Host McDonald’s All Americans

January 28, 2016

95-year-old theatre will transform to host first-ever basketball event March 28; Dunk and Shooting Competitions to star 2016 McDonald’s All Americans and Games alumni

Scores of big names and acts have performed at the Chicago Theatre throughout its 95-year history. But the iconic Loop venue has never hosted a basketball event. For one night only on March 28, the POWERADE® Jam Fest will take center stage as a prelude to the McDonald’s All American Games.
The annual high school basketball skills competition – traditionally held in high school gyms and college arenas – showcases future NBA and WNBA stars in a slam dunk and three-point contest. And new to the POWERADE® Jam Fest: a “Legends & Stars Shootout,” pairing current McDonald’s All Americans with the Games’ famous alumni.
For the first time ever, the Chicago Theatre’s stage will transform into a half court with the basketball hoop placed upstage center. Front-row seats will flank the center-court circle, putting audience members close to the action.
See renderings of Chicago Theatre staging for the McDonald’s All American Games POWERADE® Jam Fest by accessing the Games’ visual assets center.
Tickets to the 30th annual POWERADE® Jam Fest at the Chicago Theatre go on sale Saturday, Feb. 6 at 10 a.m. CST. Reserved seating will range from $20 to $45 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or charge-by-phone at 1-866-909-GAME. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. CST on Monday, March 28 with preliminary competitions beginning at 6 p.m. CST. Final competitions will be televised live on ESPN2, beginning at 7 p.m. CST. The POWERADE® Jam Fest precedes the McDonald’s All American Games, tipping off at Chicago’s United Center on Wednesday, March 30.
“It will be a historic pairing of icons when the McDonald’s All Americans take the court at the Chicago Theatre for the POWERADE® Jam Fest,” said Douglas Freeland, director of the McDonald’s All American Games. “Hoops fans will see an exciting show of three-point accuracy and thunderous dunks right in the heart of the Loop.” 
A surprise live concert may follow the POWERADE® Jam Fest. Celebrity judges for the dunk contest will also be named at a later date. Players participating in each skills competition will be unveiled in the days leading up to the event.
“We are thrilled to host the POWERADE® Jam Fest on March 28 in what will be the first-ever basketball event at the iconic Chicago Theatre," said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Sports.  "Playing basketball on the grand stage will be quite a spectacle and will proudly display the versatility of the legendary Theatre."
Former winners of the POWERADE® Jam Fest’s slam-dunk competition include Vince Carter (’95), Carmelo Anthony (’02), LeBron James (’03) and Blake Griffin (’07). In 2004, Candace Parker earned international headlines when she became the first female to win the dunk contest.
Net proceeds from the event will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). Since its inception, the McDonald’s All American Games have raised more than $11 million for the Charity.
For more information about the McDonald’s All American Games, POWERADE®Jam Fest or game week activities in Chicago, please visit www.mcdaag.com and follow us @McDAAG on Twitter and @McDAAG on Instagram.
Proud sponsors of the 2016 McDonald’s All American Games include POWERADE®, Coca-Cola®, Sprite®, adidas, American Family Insurance, THE ROCK®, Fathead®, Lids® and Athletico Physical Therapy.
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About Ronald McDonald House Charities
Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®), a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. Through its global network of 300 Chapters in more than 63 countries and regions, its three core programs, the Ronald McDonald House®, the Ronald McDonald Family Room® and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, and millions of dollars in grants to support children's programs worldwide, RMHC provides stability and vital resources to families so they can get and keep their children healthy and happy. All RMHC-operated and supported programs, enable family centered care, provide a bridge to quality health care, are a vital part of the health care continuum and give children and families the time they need to heal and cope better together.
About The Madison Square Garden Company
The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) is a world leader in live sports and entertainment with a portfolio of legendary sports teams, exclusive entertainment productions and celebrated venues.  MSG Sports owns and operates some of the most widely recognized sports franchises: the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL) and the New York Liberty (WNBA), along with two development league teams – the Westchester Knicks (NBADL) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL). MSG Sports also presents a broad array of world-class sporting events, including: professional boxing, college basketball, tennis, bull riding and e-gaming events. MSG Entertainment features exclusive, original productions that include the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and the New York Spring Spectacular, both showcasing the Rockettes. MSG Entertainment also presents or hosts a wide variety of live entertainment offerings, including concerts, family shows and special events, in the Company’s diverse collection of iconic venues. These venues are: New York’s Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, Calif.; The Chicago Theatre; and the Wang Theatre in Boston, Mass. More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com.

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