Bowl Games Are Going International

What’s old is new again, and while it may be a very long time until the Bacardi Bowl marks the return to college football to Havana, the sport will indeed be returning to the Caribbean in the form of the Bahamas Bowl, which is scheduled to kick off its inaugural game in 2014.

Thomas Robinson National Stadium, Nassau

Thomas Robinson National Stadium, Nassau

“The Mid-American Conference is proud to partner in the creation of the Bahamas Bowl beginning with the 2014 season and to feature the only bowl game outside of the United States,” said MAC commissioner John Steinbrecher in a press release. “This will truly be a one-of-its-kind bowl experience for our student-athletes, coaches and fans. The Thomas A. Robinson Stadium will be a wonderful host venue and the accommodations with the Atlantis Resort will certainly be a destination to reward our football programs.”

The MAC, Mountain West, American Athletic, Conference USA and the Sun Belt will rotate participation in the event, which will be played in the Bahamas national soccer and track and field facility, which has been expanded from a 15,000 seat capacity to hold 30,000 fans.

There are also may be other international bowl games on the horizon, as Brett McMurphy of ESPN reported in the summer:

As many as nine locations are under consideration to begin bowl games in 2014, according to sources: Miami, Orlando, Little Rock, Ark.; Boca Raton, Fla.; Montgomery, Ala.; Los Angeles; Ireland; Dubai and either Toronto or Nassau, Bahamas.

These games would be held between the s0-called “Group of Five” conferences, which are the smaller conferences effectively locked out of the top bowl games by the five power conferences (the ACC, SEC, Big 12, B1G and PAC-12.)  As The Big Lead points out, Dubai could present some potential problems for their ambitious plans:

Dubai specifically could present some political issues. That would mean playing in a country that (a) does not recognize Israel and bars Israeli citizens and (b) outlaws homosexuality. FIFA [the world’s governing body for soccer, which is the globe’s most popular sport] can get away with that. American colleges need to be more accountable.

Rollins.1938.1Given the firestorm that might create, it might be easier for the Group of Five to book Estadio Pedro Marrero in Havana for its next international venture.

General Sports Junkies

15 Responses to Bowl Games Are Going International

  1. MrPlywood 10/15/2013 at 4:31 AM #

    re: Dubai – forget the civil rights issues, just try getting a drink there.

    Seriously though, I can only think that the reason Dubai is even under consideration is the amount of money the country is throwing at the conferences.

  2. Texpack 10/15/2013 at 6:20 AM #

    You mean Dubai is EXPLOITING the schools?

  3. Wufpacker 10/15/2013 at 7:48 AM #

    If we ever got a bid to a bowl in Ireland, that would rock.

    Talk about your “tailgate friendly” destinations.

  4. TheCOWDOG 10/15/2013 at 8:42 AM #

    When ‘foose posted about the Bahama Mamma Bowl the other day, it got my attention. It wasn’t lost on the guys from ’73 either.

    That Bowl could be the Cat’s ass, man.

  5. BJD95 10/15/2013 at 9:02 AM #

    Yeah…not sure it’s worth having one of your school’s athletes executed for looking at a woman’s ankle or something. Though I’m sure the gift baskets would be lovely.

    Small conferences looking outside the box is a smart idea, and a decent recruiting hook. Much better to play in front of a few hundred people in Ireland or the Bahamas, than to do so in f-cking Detroit or Birmingham.

  6. BrownCAT 10/15/2013 at 10:26 AM #

    I’ve got to think at the point the team isn’t playing for the national championship, they’d rather play at a high school stadium in Key West than play in Shreveport or some other dumpy azz meaningless city. I know they have to sell some tickets, but many of these bowl games are half empty anyway. May as well have some fun.

    If they’d just do the dang playoff so the games mean something, it would be a different story.

  7. JohnGalt78 10/15/2013 at 2:19 PM #

    “All Inclusive” has a nice ring to it in late December, early January….toss in some spray on Coppetone with the tix….I’m all in!

  8. Alpha Wolf 10/15/2013 at 4:44 PM #

    I’d love to see the Pack go to a bowl like this instead of one in DC or New York City during the time of year those towns typically have crappy weather.

    Thing is, a trip to Hawaii is all but out of the question for most Pack fans, but IIRC there are still direct flights to Nassau from RDU and places there like Atlantis are awesome resorts. Sure would be a nice break from the typical family gatherings that time of year too.

  9. choppack1 10/15/2013 at 6:52 PM #

    I’ve always thought that Charleston or myrtle should try to get a bowl game.

    Both of those would be above average bowl game destinations and if handled right would make an ideal locale for the acc championship.

  10. Alpha Wolf 10/15/2013 at 7:37 PM #

    Good idea, Chop, save for one thing: do they have a venue that could handle an ACC championship? I’m sure Myrtle Beach could temporarily convert their minor league baseball facility, but to be honest, that would be pretty second rate and not something that the ACC would ever consider.

  11. john of sparta 10/15/2013 at 9:44 PM #

    now that the Battle of Bristol is finalized
    as a Regular Season game, all the minor bowls
    must step up. 4 hours by air in every direction.
    offer enough and maybe 8 hours will win.
    ….the Poulan Peruvian Patagonia Bowl….
    next on NBCSportsNetwork if you can find it.

  12. Wulfpack 10/15/2013 at 10:02 PM #

    There are no such venues in Charleston and Myrtle.

  13. choppack1 10/15/2013 at 10:17 PM #

    Both Charleston and Myrtle have colleges that could use stadium. The stadium itself wouldn’t have to be very big…I think most it would need to seat is 50k. That could be done at a reasonable price…especially in Myrtle. Heck, it could be done in north Charleston somewhat inexpensively.

    It would take some creative thinking, vision and risk-taking. Expecting that from swofford is like expecting a pig to sing AND fly.

  14. Alpha Wolf 10/15/2013 at 10:51 PM #

    ….the Poulan Peruvian Patagonia Bowl….
    next on NBCSportsNetwork if you can find it.

    Channel 220, on DirecTV.

  15. TheCOWDOG 10/15/2013 at 10:54 PM #

    Chops, I got your back on this. It’s totally possible to pull off.

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