Conference Champions will meet at Georgia Dome in Atlanta
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) will meet in the newly created Celebration Bowl postseason game on Dec. 19, 2015, pitting the conference champion from these two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). The game will be played at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, on an ESPN network.
The Celebration Bowl is committed to providing the champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the Southwestern Athletic Conference, and their alumni, fans and sponsors a first-class bowl experience while continuing to celebrate the legacy, values and traditions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Events surrounding the game will include a kickoff luncheon, VIP event, community outreach and family events.
ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, also owns and operates the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney, which is played annually over Labor Day weekend. ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jay Harris plays a significant role in the weekend’s events, and was emcee at the announcement of the Celebration Bowl.
Quotes from Key Stakeholders
“It gives me great pleasure to announce that this bowl game is a reality. It’s a testament to the collaborative spirit of both the MEAC and SWAC and their respective commissioners that the Celebration Bowl will take place. This game will give a platform to these student athletes – to showcase their talents, their bands and their traditions. The Georgia Dome is the perfect venue for the Celebration Bowl – and we hope that fans across the country will take advantage of this experience.” – Pete Derzis, Senior Vice President, ESPN Events
“As part of the conference’s continued efforts in branding and increasing its exposure on a national platform, I am elated that champions from the MEAC and the SWAC will compete in a bowl game, during the most exciting time of the year for collegiate football. Our continued partnership with ESPN will give our coaches, student-athletes and fans an opportunity to participate in an exciting bowl game, on a national stage, which will showcase their institutions and talented football programs. Adding a national television opportunity for our champion, during this time of year, only furthers our branding and marketability.” – Dennis Thomas, MEAC Commissioner
“This is a great opportunity for our schools and student-athletes to compete on a national stage and showcase the talent that exists within HBCUs. And to have it during bowl season, the most exciting time in college football, is a bonus.” – Duer Sharp, SWAC Commissioner
“We are excited to work with ESPN to begin a new tradition of celebrating the best in Historically Black College and Universities football while continuing our commitment to the countless students, parents and community members who we serve daily. Our organization has the recipe for creating the right kind of change in the African American community, and ESPN certainly has the recipe for delivering the best college football experience. Our relationship with ESPN will help us continue our longstanding tradition of uplifting the African American community.” – John Grant, Chief Executive Officer, 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc.
“We’re honored and excited to be involved in the inaugural Celebration Bowl which will feature the champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the champions of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The Falcons have long been strong advocates for historically black college football with our close partnership with the Black College Football Hall of Fame enshrinement dinner each year. We are pleased to partner with ESPN and the Georgia Dome to provide game day services and promotional support in order to help make Atlanta the long term home for this game.” – Rich McKay, Atlanta Falcons President and CEO
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; 12 college bowl games; 10 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, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.
ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida); 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); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Orlando, Fla.) 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.); NIT Season Tip-Off (New York City); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan, PR) and State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago)