Game to be Played on Saturday, Dec. 19
ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, announced today that the inaugural Celebration Bowl will be televised live on ABC. The new postseason college football bowl game will kick off at noon ET Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
The Celebration Bowl, which showcases the legacy, values and traditions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, will pit the conference champion from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference against the Southwestern Athletic Conference champion.
“We could not be more pleased to have the Celebration Bowl kicking off the college football bowl season on ABC,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president, ESPN Events. “Not only will the first annual Celebration Bowl deliver a first-class postseason experience to the teams, their fans and their alumni; the live telecast on ABC will bring the thrill and pageantry of the bowl to fans across the nation.”
“We are excited about today’s announcement that the Celebration Bowl will be telecast on ABC,” said Dennis Thomas, commissioner, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. “We are eagerly looking forward to participating in this wonderful opportunity to showcase our student-athletes, coaches, institutions and our conference on this national stage. We are appreciative to ESPN for their continued partnership and commitment to this postseason experience.”
“The SWAC is excited about the announcement of the inaugural Celebration Bowl being televised on ABC,” SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp said. “This stage will provide the nation with a front-row seat into the passion, pride and heritage of the SWAC and HBCU football. Our coaches, student-athletes and SWAC fans across the nation look forward to meeting in ATL on December 19.
“The SWAC appreciates ESPN and their family of networks for their continued support and for providing our fans and student athletes the opportunity to perform on this national platform.”
“We are excited to collaborate with ESPN to launch the Celebration Bowl and continue our longstanding tradition of delivering an annual HBCU college football showdown to fans in Atlanta,” said John Grant, Chief Executive Officer, 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc. “Having the game televised on ABC will showcase the best in HBCU football on a national stage.”
ESPN Events also manages the college football season-opening MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney, another game that features these two conferences and highlights the traditions of HBCUs, which kicks off at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 6, at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, live on ESPN.
ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games, 13 college bowl games, nine college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Boca Raton, Boise, Birmingham, Dallas-Fort Worth, Albuquerque, St. Petersburg and Las Vegas, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, providing unique experiences for teams and fans.
ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); Orlando Kickoff (Florida, 2016); Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); St. Petersbug Bowl (Florida); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)
Armed Forces Classic (Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan); DIRECTV Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic Presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona (Hartford/Storrs, Conn.); Orlando Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan) and State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago)