ESPN Regional Television, the Mid-American Conference, and the Sun Belt Conference have announced the creation of the Camellia Bowl beginning in December 2014.
Teams from the MAC and Sun Belt will square off each year from 2014 through 2019 prior to Christmas in a nationally televised game on either ESPN or ESPN2.
The site of the game will be the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama. This 25,000 seat stadium opened in 1922 and was once home to the annual Blue-Gray Football Classic. Currently, it is the home stadium for four area high schools and the Raycom College Football All-Star Classic.
“The Mid-American Conference is proud to partner in the creation of the Camellia Bowl beginning with the 2014 season,” said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, Mid-American Conference Commissioner. “The historic Cramton Bowl will be a great venue for our student-athletes and fans. Additionally, Montgomery’s entertainment district will provide a fun and lively bowl experience for all involved. I want to thank all parties involved for their diligence in creating this event, especially Montgomery mayor Todd Strange.”
“The Sun Belt Conference marks a significant moment in its history by partnering with the Mid-American Conference, ESPN, and the city of Montgomery for what will be a tremendously successful bowl game,” said Karl Benson, Sun Belt Conference Commissioner. “Montgomery has all the ingredients for a great bowl game and experience for our student-athletes and fans – a great venue in the renovated Cramton Bowl, a vibrant downtown with many new hotels and restaurants, and a location in the middle of the SBC footprint that will make travel very convenient for fans throughout our league. With every football season the SBC continues to show its strength and deserving place amongst college football’s best and soon a talented SBC team will represent our league well in this exciting new bowl game.”
The Camellia Bowl will be the third college football postseason bowl game in the State of Alabama. It joins the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham and the GoDaddy Bowl in Mobile.
The Sun Belt is also working on another bowl that would be played in Little Rock, Arkansas.
“We haven’t given up on Little Rock yet,” Benson said. “The Sun Belt is still very interested in Little Rock, but we obviously need to have an opponent. I think Little Rock, for some of the same reasons that Montgomery worked, makes just as much sense as a game in Memphis or Shreveport or Birmingham or anyplace else in the footprint.”