The eighth annual Cricket Celebration Bowl – to be played Saturday, Dec. 16 at noon ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and broadcast live on ABC – has extended its first invitation to Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) college football champion Howard University. The Bison (6-5, 4-1 MEAC) defeated rival Morgan State University 14-7 on Saturday to earn their first invitation to the bowl in program history. They will play the champion of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).
“Congratulations to the MEAC champion Howard University Bison for earning their first trip to the Cricket Celebration Bowl,” said Executive Director John Grant, who was on-site at the game in Washington D.C., to present Howard head coach Larry Scott with the official invite. “We are excited for the Bison to make their first appearance and join us in this championship matchup.”
MEAC co-champions in 2022, Howard’s back-to-back wins in its final two regular season games over the 2022 Cricket Celebration Bowl champion North Carolina Central Eagles and Morgan State Bears secured their path to this year’s championship bowl game.
Now in its eighth year, the Cricket Celebration Bowl has established itself as a premier college football bowl game, celebrating the heritage, legacy, pageantry, and tradition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The championship-style game between the MEAC and SWAC champions is broadcast nationally on ABC. ESPN Events collaborates with its sponsors, Divine Nine Greek organizations, the Atlanta HBCU Alumni Alliance, and other community partners to organize the game’s ancillary events, which includes a fan experience, community service projects, and more. This year’s weekend festivities will also include the inaugural Band of the Year National Championship.
North Carolina A&T won the inaugural Celebration Bowl game in 2015. In 2022, the Celebration Bowl had its second consecutive sellout crowd of 49,864 and attracted a television audience of more than 2.4 million viewers on ABC.
Celebration Bowl Games (2015-present):
|North Carolina A&T def. Alcorn State, 41-34
|Grambling State def. North Carolina Central, 10-9
|North Carolina A&T def. Grambling State, 21-14
|North Carolina A&T def. Alcorn State, 24-22
|North Carolina A&T def. Alcorn State, 64-44
|Not played due to pandemic
|South Carolina State def. Jackson State, 31-10
|North Carolina Central def. Jackson State, 41 – 34
Fans can purchase tickets to the Cricket Celebration Bowl online at thecelebrationbowl.com or ticketmaster.com. Prices range from $35 to $285 excluding taxes and fees. A full list of events surrounding the game are available on the event’s website.
For MEAC fans, a special rate is being offered at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and is available for December 15-17. Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.
For SWAC fans, a special rate is being offered at the Hilton Atlanta, and is available for December 15-17. Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.
Additional hotel rooms are available at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Atlanta Downtown and Spring Hill Suites. Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of collegiate sporting events nationwide. In 2023, the 33-event schedule includes four early-season college football kickoff games, 17 college bowl games, nine college basketball events, a college softball event and the inaugural Band of the Year National Championship, in addition to a new college gymnastics event coming in 2024. Collectively, these events account for over 400 hours of live programming on ESPN platforms, while reaching 60 million viewers and attracting more than 650,000 annual attendees. Each year, the portfolio of events features more than 20 Division I conferences and hosts over 4,000 participating student-athletes. With satellite offices in more than 10 cities across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans. Follow ESPN Events on Facebook, Twitter/X and YouTube.