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ESPN magazine to host "Next" big events in Stockyards during Super Bowl week

ESPN's presence in Fort Worth during Super Bowl week won't be confined to Sundance Square.

ESPN The Magazine is hosting two events in the Stockyards, one of which is open to the public.

The private event is Friday evening, Feb. 4, at River Ranch, the banquet and event facility at 500 NE 23rd Street.

The seventh annual "Next" party is by invitation only. Sponsors, clients, celebrities, athletes and other VIPs numbering 1,700 will attend, and there is a red carpet ,so fans might want to head to the North Side for a glimpse.

The theme of the party revolves around the year-end issue of the magazine, which includes the selection of the next big name in sports.

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers is a past "Next" athlete, as is Diana Taurasi, the former All-America basketball player for the University of Connecticut. There will also be an A-list entertainer, although the magazine isn't divulging who as yet. 

On Saturday, Super Bowl Eve, ESPN The Magazine will host "The Next Tailgate," a free interactive event that is open to the public.

It will also be at River Ranch, where the publication will erect a tent to augment the facility.

There will be entertainment and concessions, and fans will meet celebrity athletes as well as take part in interactive games.

Richard Petty has been part of the "Next Tailgate," and fans were able to change the tire of a race car just as a pit crew does.

Festivities usually begin at noon and end at 6 p.m., although the exact hours have not yet been announced.

-- Pete Alfano


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