Monday, August 12, 2013

Belk Bowl Announces Six-Year Partnership with Southeastern Conference

Guarantees ACC-SEC Matchup in Charlotte

Charlotte, N.C.– The Belk Bowl and the Southeastern Conference have a new partnership that will have an SEC team play in the Belk Bowl beginning in 2014, it was announced today by the Charlotte Sports Foundation, owner and operator of the game. The agreement secures an ACC-SEC matchup in Charlotte for six years.

As part of the new deal, the Belk Bowl is part of a pool which has the conference sending teams to the Belk Bowl, Outback Bowl, Gator Bowl, Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Texas Bowl and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. In consultation with SEC member institutions, a well as these bowls, the conference will make the assignments for the bowl games in this newly created pool system. The pool is after the College Football Playoff and the Capital One Bowl selections.

“We are very excited to announce that the Southeastern Conference has become a partner of the Belk Bowl,” said Belk Bowl Executive Director Will Webb. “We will now have a guaranteed ACC-SEC matchup for the next six years. We are sure that the SEC and its member institutions will enjoy the hospitality and fun of the Belk Bowl in Charlotte. The SEC fans are some of the most fervent in the country, and we look forward to hosting them in Charlotte. We look forward to bringing great college football excitement to Charlotte for many years.”

“The SEC is pleased to welcome the Belk Bowl to our bowl lineup,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “Charlotte will provide a great holiday destination for our schools and their fans and we look forward to a long and productive relationship.”

“We are thrilled to have the SEC as our partner for the Belk Bowl,” said Belk Chairman and CEO Tim Belk. “Welcoming the SEC and its schools, together with the extension of our ACC partnership, will continue the high level of excellence for the Belk Bowl. We look forward to bringing the best of college football to Charlotte.”

“The SEC and ACC partnerships guarantee a compelling matchup that football fans are sure to enjoy,” said Belk Bowl General Chairman and CSF Vice Chairman Thomas Skains, Piedmont Natural Gas Chairman, President & CEO. “With the proximity of first class hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues all within walking distance of Bank of America Stadium, fans from both conferences will be able to easily enjoy all that Charlotte has to offer.”

The 12th Annual Belk Bowl will be played on Saturday, December 28th, with a 3:20 p.m. kickoff and televised nationally on ESPN. It features a matchup of the Atlantic Coast Conference and the American Athletic Conference (former Big East). The game is played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. Public tickets will go on sale in the fall.

The first college bowl game to call the Carolinas home, the Belk Bowl has averaged almost 60,000 fans each year, with three sellouts. In 2003, it was named one of the five best start-ups in sports over the past five years by the Sports Business Journal, along with the NFL Houston Texans and ESPN the Magazine.