Yet another sign of the floundering college football bowl system came to light Wednesday, as the “Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl,” a game with 10 years of struggling to gain traction in downtown St. Petersburg, is moving to Tampa and Raymond James Stadium.
ESPN, which owns and operates the game, made the announcement that the game, which will be played Thursday night December 20th, is leaving one side of Tampa Bay for the other.
From their release:
“We are excited about the continued growth of this bowl game,” said Clint Overby, vice president of ESPN Events. “I want to thank those we have worked with in St. Petersburg and at Tropicana Field in helping us build this game into a quality, postseason experience.”
The Bowl’s executive director also weighed in:
“Since the inception of the bowl in 2008 our staff has aimed to forge special relationships with stakeholders on both sides of Bay,” said Brett Dulaney, Executive Director of the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. “This move will continue to support our ability to better expand our relationships across Tampa Bay. With our new home at Raymond James Stadium, Bad Boy Mowers, the two participating teams and their fans will be able to enjoy the incredible benefits of one of the best football venues in America.”
We wrote over the weekend about the flailing bowl system in and how if you are in the second tier, like the Gator Bowl, there are struggles. Well, this game has clearly been in the third tier usually having a match-up with at least one or both programs not being from a Power Five conference.
The game a year ago, played at Tropicana Field, the home of the MLB Tampa Bay Rays, pitted Temple (American Conference) against FIU (Conference USA). However, they announced only 16,363 in attendance.
And, as this Twitter photo shows, that may have been generous:
This is why there are too many college bowl games. pic.twitter.com/qD4FghgRGa
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) December 22, 2017
The hope is the stadium that hosts the Buccaneers, USF Football and the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day every year in Tampa will help attract more of the local/regional fans to come and watch.
Still, the schools involved and their fan bases will dictate that the most.
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