FOX Sports opens lounge on air base
FOX Sports and the United States Department of Defense have worked together to build a 5,000 square foot, state-of-the-art FOX Sports Sky Box lounge at the air force base in Southwest Asia serving as home to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing. The facility opens to serve the men and women of the U.S. military tomorrow.
The idea was born last fall during FOX NFL Sunday’s unprecedented trip to Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan to celebrate Veteran’s Day. Once Terry Bradshaw, Curt Menefee, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Strahan, Jay Glazer, along with FOX Sports executives and staff visited with base personnel, they were shown to the base’s Desert Eagle Lounge. A facility outfitted for practicality, everyone in the FOX Sports party agreed that our servicemen and women deserved something more special.
“After flying 14 hours last November, we had one last stop before getting to Bagram,” said FOX NFL Sunday co-host and NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw speaking for the group. “After touring the base and meeting a bunch of great people, they brought us to the base lounge to wait, and it was pretty basic. I mean, it gets the job done in a no fuss, no muss way, but we all agreed that the guys and gals fighting for our country deserved something better. Then we learned that the Air Force planned to re-do the place, so we hatched this idea.”
“World-class is how I'd best describe the Department of Defense’s first FOX Sports Sky Box,” said Brigadier General Stephen W. Wilson, 379th AEW commander. “It's absolutely fantastic, and we can't thank FOX Sports enough. This whole project went from concept to reality in just a few months, and this is the crown jewel of sports venues in the Southwest Asia. Hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women who rotate through here every year will enjoy it.”
The renovated lounge now mirrors a FOX Sports Sky Box, the network’s unique sports bar concept designed to cater to the insatiable appetite of sports fans. The DoD’s Sky Box has a 25 foot-long bar, seating for over 200, pool tables, a patio with seating for 60, customized murals and art, and entertains visitors with a premium sound system and 24 42-inch flat screen televisions. FOX Sports donated the franchise license and all the equipment, materials and design-work, while hundreds of Air Force personnel on three different bases on two continents contributed to its construction.
“When we mentioned a pending project on the Desert Eagle Lounge, they thought it was a perfect fit for a FOX Sports Sky Box,” said Lieutenant Colonel Paul Kopecki, 379th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron commander. “They offered to donate all the furniture, fixtures and equipment, murals, wall art and the sound/AV system so this would look just like a state-side franchise.”
Thousands of Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, DoD employees and contract personnel living and transiting through the base to or from forward-deployed locations across the Central Command area of responsibility will be able to benefit from the air-conditioned facility.
“The FOX Sports Sky Box is a great reminder that corporate America still cares and supports our troops, and this place is fantastic,” added Lt. Col. Kopecki. “When sitting in the Sky Box, watching five or six different sports at one time, our service-members are going to feel like they’re back home in their favorite sports bar.”
The FOX Sports Sky Box in Southwest Asia was designed by Jennifer Reynolds, principal of the Ideation Design Group.