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"Jason's one great example of a local success story, we hope to be another.  His performance will help us announce the arrival of America's newest Hall of Fame complex in style."
--National Soccer Hall of Fame President Will Lunn


 





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<< USA Today story on the opening of the National Soccer Hall of Fame

National Soccer Hall of Fame (Oneonta, NY)
"Lion King" to Perform at
National Soccer Hall of Fame Opening

Press Release
June 3, 1999




Oneonta Daily Star article on celebrities with ties to the area >>

Jason Raize, who is currently staring on Broadway in Disney's "The Lion King" will perform at the grand opening celebration of the new $5.5-million National Soccer Hall of Fame complex in Oneonta, New York, on Saturday, June 12.  The opening and dedication of the soccer complex is part of the "I Love NY" Festival and will include an appearance by soccer star striker Eric Wynalda and other soccer celebrities as well as a ribbon-cutting and official dedication.  The doors of the new Hall of Fame are schedule to open at 11 a.m. and the official grand opening ceremony will begin at 2 p.m.  The dedication ceremony is free and open to the public.

In addition to his starring role in "The Lion King," Raize is is also a recording artist currently signed with Universal Records and he is currently recording an album with pop writer/producer Desmond Childs for Deston Records.  His debut solo album is due out in the early summer.

Before joining "The Lion King" cast, Raize appeared as Pontius Pilate in the national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Jesus Christ Superstar," where he replaced Styx singer Dennis DeYoung.  His film credits include "Freshman Fall" for NBC, "The Stranger" for PBS (as part of the series Susquehanna Stories) and "Passover!" for Barr Films Co.

Originally from Oneonta, Raize originally became interested in theater during junior high school, where be mixed rehearsals with wrestling practice, soccer games and track meets.  Raize, 23, went on to study at the American Musical & Dramatic Academy in New York City and the Perry-Mansfield School for Performance Art.  He appeared in Cameron Mackintosh's "Miss Saigon," the Tony-award winning production of "The King & I" as well as "Gypsy" and "The Phantom."

According to National Soccer Hall of Fame President Will Lunn, Raize's performance is part of a full day of activities centered around the opening of the new National Soccer Hall of Fame.  "Jason's one great example of a local success story, we hope to be another.  His performance will help us announce the arrival of America's newest Hall of Fame complex in style," said Lunn.

"Oneonta has waited 20 years for this day and it's great to have some home grown talent to help us celebrate," said Lunn.

The new National Soccer Hall of Fame is a  20,000 square foot interactive museum filled with exhibits that trace the little known yet fascinating history of soccer from the first game played in the United States during the Civil War to today's Major League Soccer action and this summer's Women's World Cup.  The museum includes a video wall and Kicks Hall of Fame museum store and pro shop.  The Kicks Zone lets players test their skills and their strategy with speed dribbles, a header cage, animated "Kick It" games, power shots, The Wall, three-on-three challenges and more.  Computer kiosks throughout the Hall of Fame let visitors test their knowledge of soccer trivia and of the great moments in the history of the sport.  Everyone who purchases a museum pass on June 12 will relieve a special commemorative ticket as a keepsake.  These tickets will only be issued to those actually in attendance at the Hall of Fame.

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