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Washington Commanders announce programming for Week 17 Inspire Change-themed game vs. 49ERS

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LANDOVER, Md., December 28, 2023 – The Washington Commanders announced programming for the team's annual Inspire Change-themed game on Sunday, December 31 versus the San Francisco 49ers. Inspire Change is the NFL's year-round initiative that highlights the impactful social justice work taking place throughout the NFL Family alongside grant partners to break down barriers to opportunity and end systemic racism. League-wide social justice work focuses on four pillars: Education, Economic Advancement, Community-Police Relations, and Criminal Justice Reform.

As part of the Inspire Change game theme, the Commanders will host their third annual Shop Black Market, powered by FedEx, in SeatGeek Legends Plaza. The Shop Black Market, powered by FedEx, is hosted by the Commanders Black Engagement Network (B.E.N) ERG and features 10 local black-owned business: Frères Branchiaux Candle Company, HerbSpice, LM Foundation, Mindful Mane & Body Care, Samone's Sugar Scrub LLC, The NakedFace, The Wine Concierge, Zion Roar, Cargado LLC, and Shelita's Bling.

SeatGeek Legends Plaza also will feature the grand opening of the Bud Light Backyard and host a wing eating contest, presented by Capital City Mambo Sauce. Open three hours prior to game action (one hour before regular gates), fans can enjoy live music, tailgate games, and a variety of beverages, including domestic beers starting at $6.75, available until kickoff, and rotating local food trucks operating throughout the game. Fans also can watch the Command Center: Gameday Live show, get an early look at team warm-ups in the Bud Light End Zone, and interact with Washington Legends and team partner activations.

Bud Light, the team's Official Beer Sponsor, will officially open the Bud Light Backyard on Sunday. This permanent 20-ft Bud Light shipping container features iconic branding and high-top tables and is the perfect pregame spot on gamedays. Picture yourself unwinding with friends, enjoying interactive games, and soaking up the anticipation before cheering on the Washington Commanders.

Capital City Mambo Sauce, A Proud Partner of the Washington Commanders, will host a wing eating contest at 11:45 a.m. on the main stage in SeatGeek Legends Plaza. The winner of the competition with take home a special prize pack courtesy of Capital City Mambo Sauce and will be recognized on an HD video board feature in-game.

Fans who arrive early to the game also can head to the tailgate lot (Lot G) behind SeatGeek Legends Plaza where they'll find more gameday excitement. Pepsi's Taste of Gameday Experience takes fans through the gameday journey with Pepsi and features three separate areas, highlighting different ways fans prepare for their favorite team's game: Tailgating, "Bargating," and "Home-gating." Additionally, WMATA also will have a presence in the space for fans to engage.

In-game, the Commanders will recognize the team's 2023 Inspire Change Changemaker Award recipient, DC native Tony Lewis Jr., for his work in criminal justice reform. Lewis Jr. has worked tirelessly over the past two decades to empower individuals previously incarcerated as they re-enter society and to support children with incarcerated parents in the Washington D.C. community. Inspired by his experience, Lewis Jr.'s father now works alongside him after being released from prison after 30 years. In addition, Lewis Jr. works with the DC Reengagement Center to help provide kids who have dropped out of school with a second chance at pursuing an education. The NFL's Inspire Change Changemaker Award showcases an individual in each NFL team market whose efforts aim to create positive change in their community through social justice work.

As the Commanders ring in the New Year, Sunday's halftime show will feature a celebration of Washington D.C. Go-Go music with a live performance by Sirius Company, featuring Hip Hop icon, Doug E. Fresh. This special New Year's Eve Halftime Show, presented by Verizon, will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop by showcasing the legendary music that has shaped Washington D.C. With deep ties to D.C. and Go-Go music, Doug E. Fresh has transcended audiences with his unique beatboxing performances. A Hip Hop pioneer, the "Original Human Beatbox" is a global entertainer who has worked with artists across many genres and multiple decades.

As part of the team's season-long Welcome Home theme, each home game will showcase a discounted item of the game, made available to all attendees. This week, hot dogs will be 50% off. The discounted item of the game will continue to be announced in the team's gameday press release and Know Before You Go email communications ahead of all remaining home matchups.

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