Openings

Baltimore ESPN Zone opening on July 12, 1998

Michelle joined Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Kenny Mayne, Walt Disney Company Chairman & CEO Michael Eisner, and other celebrities, to celebrate the opening of the world's first ESPN Zone in Baltimore on Sunday, July 12, 1998. ESPN Zone is a 35,000 square-foot sports-themed dining and entertainment complex, and this first one is located at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. At the opening party, Michelle mingled with the celebrities, as seen in this picture with Adam Sandler. Michelle posed with other celebrities in front of the ESPN Zone, as well as with others from the Baltimore sports arena. Check out the press release for more information. Michelle obviously had a fun time at the opening, because she returned to the Baltimore ESPN Zone a year later, as seen in this picture with Elena Berezhnaya.
Photo H/O

Loma Linda University Orthopedic Center on July 9, 1999

Michelle was at the grand opening of The Loma Linda University Orthopedic Center in San Bernardino, CA on July 9, 1999, at 3:00 pm. She was the guest of honor at the event. She assisted in the ribbon cutting for the new building's dedication at the request of Dr. Leisure Yu, the same therapist who helped her get back to competition level after she broke her toe in 1997. She also signed autographs for her fans. Michelle was accompanied by both her parents. Check out this article about the event, which also includes a picture of Michelle cutting the ribbon! Others at the ribbon cutting at the Centre for Integrated Health Solutions were Judith Valles, the mayor of the San Bernardino, former LA Dodgers player Steve Yeager, ice dancers Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko, and Seattle Seahawks football player Mark Collins.

Chicago ESPN Zone opening on July 10, 1999

Michelle was at the grand opening of Chicago's ESPN Zone. The new sports and entertainment complex opened to a star studded gala on July 10, 1999. The Chicago ESPN Zone, which is located at the corner of Wabash Avenue and Ohio Street, hosted a massive public outdoor viewing party in honor of its grand opening Saturday evening. A free performance by the Fastball kicked off the festivities. Next, a star-studded motorcade, featuring Michelle, Dennis Franz, Minnie Driver, Tyra Banks, and Billy Campbell to name a few, cruised east on Ohio Street, ending at the ESPN Zone. Then, the attention turned center stage to a giant 16' x 20' screen, as ESPN SportsCenter anchors Stuart Scott and Rich Eisen led the countdown to the Five Greatest Teams of the Chicago SportsCentury. Later, musical acts, such as Seal, performed on stage. This was the second ESPN Zone to open, after the Baltimore ESPN Zone. So, Michelle attended the opening of the first two ESPN Zones! Others in attendance included Chicago athletes such as Mark Grace, Frank Thomas, and others from the world of sports. A picture of Michelle at the event, watching Seal perform, was used in the Chicago Tribune Magazine to help promote the new complex. Check out the press release, and a picture of Michelle with other celebrities at the event.
Photo ESPN

The Disney store in California on October 4, 2000

Michelle was at the grand opening of the new South Coast Plaza Disney store in Costa Mesa, California on October 4, 2000, where she also had a book signing. The Grand Opening Ceremony and Store Unveiling took place from 10 to 10:15am. Michelle was joined by Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and store executives Tom Park and Doug Murphy, as seen in this picture, to officially open the first completely redesigned Disney Store. From 10:30 to 11:15am, Michelle signed copies of her books "Michelle Kwan Presents Skating Dreams: The Turning Point" and "Michelle Kwan Presents Skating Dreams: Staying Balanced." The first 100 guests received a free copy of one of the books. Michelle also posed for pictures with her fans.

The local ABC station in California previewed event on their morning news, where Michelle talked about the new Disney store, "It's hip, it's exciting, because you walk in and there's a multimedia wall. And you walk in further and there's new items, and internet connections, so it's really hip."

Evan sent me his home video from when he attended the Disney store opening. The video is about 15 seconds long of Michelle signing autographs at the opening. It is an mpg file, and is 1.3 MB. Check it out! Then, check out Evan's pictures from the opening. You can also check out Yvonne's Disney store opening pictures.

For more info, check out the press release for the event, as well as the articles, All-New Disney Store Debuts at South Coast Plaza and Disney Store South Coast Plaza Grand Opening Celebration
Photo Yvonne Moreno


Last updated April 28, 2002

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Photo Sarah Hoffman