Celebration Bowl

Celebration Bowl
"Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl"
Stadium Georgia Dome
Location Atlanta, Georgia
Operated 2015
Conference tie-ins MEAC, SWAC
Payout US$2,000,000
($1M Per conference)
ESPN (2015–)
2016 matchup
North Carolina Central v Grambling State (December 17, 2016)

The Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl is an annual American college football bowl game that is played in mid-December of each year. The inaugural contest was held in 2015.

The Celebration Bowl the successor of the Atlanta Football Classic will feature a match-up of champions from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the Southwestern Athletic Conference, the two prominent Historically Black Division I athletic conferences. The game is popularly deemed the "HBCU National Championship" football game and is played in the Georgia Dome located in Downtown Atlanta Georgia.[1] The Celebration Bowl will be the third game of its kind, pitting the champions of the MEAC and SWAC against each other. The previous two games, the Pelican Bowl and its successor the Heritage Bowl were held during the 1970s and 1990s respectively.[2] The game will be the second annual college bowl game held in the Georgia Dome, joining the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.[3]

On March 18, 2015, ESPN Events officially announced the upcoming bowl game at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.[4] The game will be owned, operated and broadcast by ESPN, who also owns and operates the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, the annual interconference game between the two conferences, held during Labor Day weekend football in Orlando, Florida.[5]

On June 9, 2015, ESPN Events officially announced the championship game will be nationally televised on ABC.[6] The game was the first to feature two HBCU and FCS teams on ABC.

On August 31, 2015, ESPN Events named former 100 Black Men of America of Atlanta Inc. CEO John Grant the executive director of the event.[7]

After a successful inaugural contest, the Celebration Bowl will return for 2016.[8]

Other activities

There are a host of activities surrounding the bowl game. There is a press conference, male youth symposium, HBCU college fair, V.I.P. dinner featuring both participating teams, robotics showcase and invitational, welcome event, fan fest, and a "battle of the bands" showcasing marching bands from both participating universities and several regional high schools.[9]

Game Results

Date Played MEAC Team SWAC Team Attendance Series Notes
December 19, 2015 North Carolina A&T Aggies 41 Alcorn State Braves 34 35,528 MEAC 1–0 notes
December 17, 2016 North Carolina Central Eagles - Grambling State Tigers - - - notes

Media Coverage


Date Network Play-by-play announcers Color commentators Sideline reporters
2015 ABC[10] Mark Neely Jay Walker Tiffany Greene


Date Network Play-by-play announcers Color commentators
2015 RedVoice, LLC. Sam Crenshaw Hugh Douglas

See also


  1. Margolis Siegal, Rachel. "MEAC & SWAC to Play in Newly Created Celebration Bowl Following 2015 Season". http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-releases/2015/03/meac-swac-play-newly-created-celebration-bowl-following-2015-season/. ESPN Media Zone. Retrieved 20 March 2015. External link in |website= (help)
  2. Reese, Earnest (December 21, 1996). "Heritage Bowl struggling for acceptance". The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. p. 9H.
  3. "Champions of MEAC, SWAC to meet in new Celebration Bowl". http://www.usatoday.com. Associated Press. Retrieved 20 March 2015. External link in |website= (help)
  4. Hudson, Phill W. (18 March 2015). "Atlanta to Host New Celebration Bowl". Atlanta Business Chronicle. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  5. Patterson, Chip. "MEAC, SWAC to play in Atlanta-based Celebration Bowl after 2015 season". http://www.cbssports.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 20 March 2015. External link in |website= (help)
  6. http://www.swac.org/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27400&ATCLID=210139688
  7. http://hbcudigest.com/post/128043661081/100-black-men-of-atlanta-cancels-2015-atlanta
  8. http://espnevents.com/celebration-bowl/news-and-updates/2016-air-force-reserve-celebration-bowl-to-open-bowl-season-on-abc/
  9. http://espnevents.com/celebration-bowl/schedule/
  10. "College Football Playoff Highlights 2015-16 Bowl Schedule". ESPN Media Zone. Retrieved December 8, 2015.

External links

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