ESPN brings ESPY fever to Los Angeles
The 2002 ESPY Awards, the 10th annual industry-wide celebration of achievement in sports, will be staged at Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on July 10, the result of a new two-year agreement between ESPN, Inc. and AEG. The announcement was made Jan. 29 by ESPN President George Bodenheimer and AEG President and CEO Timothy J. Leiweke.
Kodak Theatre, a property operated by AEG, is the new home of the Academy Awards, beginning with the 2002 Oscars in March.
"This is a crucial step in the evolution of the ESPY franchise," Bodenheimer said. "With a dynamic new partner in AEG, a new home and a new date, the ESPY Awards are poised for an extraordinary future beginning with this anniversary year. ESPN and AEG will combine the many valuable resources of our multi-faceted companies to foster continued growth."
Leiweke added: "Los Angeles and Kodak Theatre is the natural location for an awards show that celebrates the intersection of sports and entertainment and bringing the show to the west coast's preeminent new venue will further establish the ESPYs as the industry's finest. We have always considered the ESPYs to be the paramount show of its kind and we look forward to a long-term partnership with ESPN on this and other endeavors that AEG will be involved with."
The last two ESPY Awards had been held in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand in February. In October 2001, ESPN announced it would move The ESPYs to July, the night after the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The ESPY Awards will be televised live on ESPN, Wednesday, July 10 at 9 p.m. ET.
• Based on the new schedule, for 2002 only, sports that have completed two full seasons since the last ESPY Awards (February 2001) -- e.g. NBA, NHL, college basketball -- will recognize individual winners for each season.
• In 2002 only, categories encompassing multiple sports will pit nominees from the entire 18-month window since the 2001 ESPYs. In some instances, categories may include nominees from the same sport in different seasons (e.g. - 2000-1 Lakers could be nominated against the 2001-2 NBA Champion in the "Outstanding Team" category).
• The ESPY Awards Academy will select the winners. The Academy is comprised of a select group of hall of fame athletes and coaches plus nationally recognized print and broadcast sports journalists.
• The new schedule will allow for February Winter Olympic recognition in 2002.
In addition to sport-specific categories, the ESPY Award is the only award that crosses all sports, including Outstanding Male and Female Athlete, Outstanding Coach/Manager and Breakthrough Athlete. Overall, there are more than 30 ESPY Award categories. In addition, the ESPYs also present the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award plus the Lifetime Achievement Award.