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ESPN Zone is a small chain of very large sports-themed restaurants that include arcades, TV studios, and radio studios. The first ESPN Zone opened in Baltimore, Marylandmarker, on July 11, 1998 in the Power Plantmarker on the Inner Harbormarker. It transformed what was once a massive brick building that housed coal-fired generators for the city trolley system into what is now an all-encompassing sports dining and entertainment mecca. It proved to be a cornerstone in the development of the city’s waterfront, and more specifically the Inner Harbor.

ESPN Zone in Chinatown Wahsington D.C.
ESPN Zone in Baltimore


There are ESPN Zones located in:

There is also a restaurant called ESPN Club at Disney's BoardWalk Innmarker at Walt Disney Worldmarker in Lake Buena Vista, Floridamarker not related to ESPN Zone restaurants.

The chain of restaurants is owned and operated by Disney Regional Entertainment, which in turn, is owned by The Walt Disney Company, which also owns ESPN.

Events

Ultimate Couch Potato

ESPN Zone regularly hosts events featuring athletes from local professional teams. Their most notable event is the Ultimate Couch Potato Competition, a competitive sitting competition. held on January 1st, four competitors try to out-sit each other while watching non-stop sports. Bathroom breaks are permitted only every eight hours and there is a five minute stretch-break every hour; they may eat and drink as much as they want. In 2009, competitions were held in New York, Chicago and Baltimore. The 2009 Ultimate Couch Potato in Baltimore, Marylandmarker unofficially broke the Guinness World Record by sitting and watching consecutive sports for an unprecedented 70 hours, and 45 seconds. Unrelated to the competition, Surech Joachim set the official world record with 69 hours and 48 minutes in 2005. The 2009 event received a lot of attention nationally as well as from international outlets like the popular Australian television show Sunrise.

Ultimate Couch Potato Winners:
Chicago New York Baltimore
2003 Brett Farrenkopf: 14 hours 30 minutes
2004 Patrick Arnold: 18 hours 30 minutes
2005 Chris Connelly: 20 hours
2006 Jason Pisarik: 32 hours
2007 Jason Pisarik: 39 hours 55 minutes
2008 Jeff Miller: 40 hours 30 minutes 2008 Stan Friedman: 29 hours
2009 Jeff Miller: 39 hours 2 minutes 2009 Stan Friedman: 19 hours 48 minutes 2009 Jessica Mosley: 70 hours 45 seconds
source: http://www.espnzone.com/ultimatecouchpotato/


Q&A's with Athletes and Sports FiguresLocal pro teams often participate in question and answer sessions at ESPN Zone locations allowing fans to an opportunity to get personal, candid answers to all their sports questions, while also getting better acquainted with the players.


Junior BroadcasterThe Junior Broadcaster event is a competition where entrants ages 12 and under sit behind a microphone on-set at ESPN Zone and take a stab at the play-by-play call for pre-determined game plays from a local team. A panel of judges provides feedback and narrows the field. The winner receives the opportunity to help the broadcasting booth at an upcoming game.


Star-Spangled Sing-OffAt this event, singers of all ages compete for the opportunity to sing the national anthem at a local pro sports game.

In the opening round of the competition, contestants sing 30 seconds of any song other than the Star-Spangled Banner. Finalists advance to the second round and each sing the national anthem in its entirety. The contest is judged by a panel of experts and fans at the event.


Watch PartiesESPN Zone often hosts watch parties to cheer on local teams when they play against big rivals.

Former locations

Since its inception, ESPN Zone has closed two locations. A restaurant in Denver, Coloradomarker closed in June 2009, and another in Atlanta, Georgiamarker closed in October 2009. The Atlanta location had opened in 2000, while the Denver location opened in 2001. In both cases, Disney Regional Entertainment cited the "economic environment" as the reason for the closures.

See also



References



External links




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