The SEARS Armed Forces Classic, ESPN’s newest basketball event, is poised to bring premier college basketball games to our nation’s troops, wherever they are stationed, around the world.
The SEARS Armed Forces Classic will be rotating among various military bases throughout the world. Partnering with the Department of Defense and each branch of the US Armed Forces, and building off of ESPN’s Veteran’s Week Initiative, ESPN has created a one-game basketball event that will be hosted at a different branch of the US Armed Forces each year for five years. The goal is to take the event to the troops wherever they are stationed.
This year’s matchup features two storied programs: Michigan State and Connecticut. The game will be played on Nov. 9—from Ramstein Air Base in Germany—and televised on the ESPN family of networks. The game will be played in front of 2,500 to 3,000 active duty military members, family members and Department of Defense civilian employees.
Over a five-year period, the SEARS Armed Forces Classic will rotate among bases of the various branches of the military to serve as a host location. Year 1 will be the Air Force and will be hosted at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Future years are still being determined.
This series of matchups to open the college basketball season comes a year after the Spartans helped create a trend by playing on the deck of an active aircraft carrier against North Carolina to tip off last season. Ramstein Air Base in Germany is the home of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and also a North Atlantic Treaty Organization installation.
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