ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, announced this week that the inaugural Celebration Bowl will be televised live on ABC. The new postseason college football bowl game will kick off at noon ET Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The Celebration Bowl, which showcases the legacy, values and traditions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, will pit the conference champion from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference against the Southwestern Athletic Conference champion.
“We could not be more pleased to have the Celebration Bowl kicking off the college football bowl season on ABC,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president, ESPN Events. “Not only will the first annual Celebration Bowl deliver a first-class postseason experience to the teams, their fans and their alumni; the live telecast on ABC will bring the thrill and pageantry of the bowl to fans across the nation.”
“We are excited about today’s announcement that the Celebration Bowl will be telecast on ABC,” said MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas. “We are eagerly looking forward to participating in this wonderful opportunity to showcase our student-athletes, coaches, institutions and our conference on this national stage. We are appreciative to ESPN for their continued partnership and commitment to this postseason experience.”
“The SWAC is excited about the announcement of the inaugural Celebration Bowl being televised on ABC,” SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp said. “This stage will provide the nation with a front-row seat into the passion, pride and heritage of the SWAC and HBCU football. Our coaches, student-athletes and SWAC fans across the nation look forward to meeting in ATL on December 19.
“We are excited to collaborate with ESPN to launch the Celebration Bowl and continue our longstanding tradition of delivering an annual HBCU college football showdown to fans in Atlanta,” said John Grant, Chief Executive Officer, 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc. “Having the game televised on ABC will showcase the best in HBCU football on a national stage.”
ESPN Events also manages the college football season-opening MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney, another game that features these two conferences and highlights the traditions of HBCUs, which kicks off at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 6, at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, live on ESPN.