SoberBowl II: Stealth recovery advocacy

January 29, 2018

Maureen Fitzgerald
ATTC Network Coordinating Office/NIAtx



Tracy Abbott is Director of the ARK, a Houston-based nonprofit dedicated to producing alcohol-free entertainment events. In the fall of 2016, Houston was abuzz with excitement about Super Bowl 2017, which was held at Houston's NRG Stadium. Billboards and restaurants advertised the big game, with accompanying big entertainment and watch parties.

"That's when I realized that people in recovery need an alcohol- and drug-free space where they can participate in all the energy surrounding the Super Bowl," says Abbott.

And in just 60 days, she raised $100k to launch SoberBowl I in Houston, an alcohol- and drug-free Super Bowl party that attracted nearly 1,000 attendees. Athletes and entertainers in recovery provided entertainment and inspiration for the event as they will again this year—with SoberBowl II events scheduled for both Houston and Minneapolis.


SoberBowl II 2018 from Sober Bowl on Vimeo.

In Houston, the Sober Recreation Community-Houston will host this year's event, and in Minneapolis, sponsors include Hazleden Betty Ford and the Minnesota Recovery Connection.

The Minneapolis SoberBowl II will take place at Muse Event Center, starting at noon.
Read more about the event: SoberBowl 2018: An option for fans who don't need beer with their football
Abbott's vision for the event is that former host cities will continue the SoberBowl tradition each year, creating an ongoing culture of ongoing support for a sober lifestyle. SoberBowl III will take place in Atlanta in 2019.

Says Abbott, “By bringing together amazing athletes and entertainers to share about personal connections to recovery in a festive environment, we aim to mainstream the otherwise radical concept of alcohol-free events. At the same time, we want to serve as an attraction to those who may be seeking the recovery lifestyle, but may think it only exists on the periphery of popular culture. Most importantly, we invite recovering friends to safely participate in the festivities on a day traditionally reserved for alcohol consumption.”


Read this post about SoberBowl I from Houston Rockets Coach John Lucas, from the Facing Addiction Blog.

Hear Tracy Abbott tell more about SoberBowl and stealth recovery advocacy in this podcast from the Faces & Voices of Recovery series:
Voices of Recovery Podcast Episode 7: Sober Bowl II and Stealth Recovery with Tracy Abbott

Will there be a sober Big Game party in your community this year? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

1 comment:

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