Gasparilla Bowl

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Gasparilla Bowl
Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
Gasparilla Bowl.jpg
Stadium Tropicana Field
Location St. Petersburg, Florida
Operated 2008–present
Conference tie-ins American, ACC, C-USA
Alternates: MAC, Sun Belt
Payout US$500,000[1]
Sponsors
magicJack (2008)
Beef O'Brady's (2009–2013)
BitPay (2014)
Bad Boy Mowers (2017–present)
Former names
magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl (2008)
St. Petersburg Bowl Presented by Beef 'O' Brady's (2009)
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl (2010–2013)
Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl (2014)
St. Petersburg Bowl (2015–2016)
2016 matchup
Mississippi State vs. Miami (OH) (Mississippi State 17–16)
2017 matchup
Temple vs. FIU (December 21, 2017)

The Gasparilla Bowl, officially the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl for sponsorship purposes, is an NCAA-sanctioned post-season college football bowl game that has been played annually at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, since 2008. It was first known as the magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl, after corporate sponsor magicJack, then the Beef O'Brady's Bowl from 2009 until 2013[2], the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl in 2014, the St. Petersburg Bowl in 2015 and 2016, and finally the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl beginning in 2017.[3] The current name is a nod to the legend of Jose Gaspar, a mythical pirate who supposedly operated in the Tampa Bay area and who is the inspiration for Tampa's Gasparilla Pirate Festival.

The bowl game features teams from the American Athletic Conference against either the Atlantic Coast Conference or Conference USA, unless one of the conferences does not have enough bowl eligible teams, in which case the Mid-American or Sun Belt Conference are eligible to send a team. The 2016 edition of the game featured an SEC team, Mississippi State.

History[edit]

The St. Petersburg Bowl is the third college bowl game to be played in the Tampa Bay area; both the long-defunct Cigar Bowl and the ongoing Outback Bowl have been held across the bay in Tampa.

On April 30, 2008, the NCAA's Postseason Football Licensing Subcommittee approved a to-be-named bowl for Tropicana Field to be played after the 2008 college football season.[4] On November 25, 2008, ESPN Regional Television, the game's owner, announced a one-year title sponsorship agreement with magicJack.[5]

The inaugural game was played on Dec 20, 2008, between the South Florida Bulls and Memphis Tigers, with the USF Bulls winning by a score of 41–14. USF Quarterback Matt Grothe was named Most Outstanding Player, after throwing for 236 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 83 yards on 15 carries.

Both the UCF Knights and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights accepted bids to play in the 2009 St. Petersburg Bowl on December 19, 2009. On December 9, 2009, the bowl's name was changed to the St. Petersburg Bowl Presented by Beef O'Brady's after the restaurant chain obtained a title sponsorship.[6] In the second St. Petersburg Bowl, Rutgers defeated Central Florida 45–24.

In 2010, the bowl's name was shortened to the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl and pitted the Southern Miss Golden Eagles against the Louisville Cardinals on December 21, 2010. It was the 29th meeting between former Conference USA rivals.[7] After falling behind 14–0 and 21–7, Louisville came back to win their sixth contest in a row against Southern Miss, 31–28[8]

The 2011 game featured the first Sun Belt Conference team to play in the game, as Florida International lost 20–10 to Marshall (Conference USA). This was the first time that the Big East was unable to send a team to the game. FIU joined Marshall in C-USA in 2013, both will compete in the conference's East Division for football.

Beef 'O' Brady's stopped sponsoring the bowl after the 2013 edition.[9] On June 18, 2014, it was announced that Bitcoin payment service provider BitPay would become the new sponsor of the game under a two-year deal, renamed the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. Bitcoin, the digital currency, was accepted for ticket and concession sales at the game as part of the sponsorship, and the sponsorship itself was also paid for using bitcoin.[10][11] On April 2, 2015, after one year of sponsorship, BitPay declined to renew sponsorship of the game.[12]

On August 23, 2017, Bad Boy Mowers signed a three-year deal to become the official title sponsor of the game, which was rebranded as the Bay Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.[13]

Stadium[edit]

Tropicana Field

Since Tropicana Field was originally designed for baseball, the football gridiron is arranged along the right field line, from home plate to the foul pole. The game is one of three to take place in a baseball-only stadium among current post-season football contests; the others are the Cactus Bowl, played at Chase Field in Phoenix, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Pinstripe Bowl in The Bronx, New York at Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees. The Fight Hunger Bowl, was played at San Francisco's AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants but moved to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California (home of the San Francisco 49ers) in 2014. The Miami Beach Bowl, was played at Miami's Marlins Park, home of the Miami Marlins, but moved to Toyota Stadium (home to FC Dallas of Major League Soccer) in Frisco, Texas to become the Frisco Bowl in 2017.

Between 2000 and 2005, the Insight Bowl was played at the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona after being moved from Tucson, while the 2001 Seattle Bowl was played at Safeco Field while CenturyLink Field was being built on the site of the Kingdome. Original plans had the Military Bowl in Washington being played at Nationals Park, but the game was played at RFK Stadium during the years that Washington hosted it (the Military Bowl has since moved to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland).

Three other bowls, the International Bowl, the Bluebonnet Bowl, and the Chick-fil-A Bowl, were also played in baseball stadiums, but Toronto's Rogers Centre (the home of the defunct International Bowl), Houston's Astrodome (home of the Bluebonnet Bowl) and Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium (home of the then-Peach Bowl) were purposely built to house both baseball and football.

Game results[edit]

Date Winning Team Losing Team Attendance Notes
December 20, 2008 South Florida 41 Memphis 14 25,205 Notes
December 19, 2009 Rutgers 45 UCF 24 28,793 Notes
December 21, 2010 Louisville 31 Southern Miss 28 20,017 Notes
December 20, 2011 Marshall 20 FIU 10 20,072 Notes
December 21, 2012 UCF 38 Ball State 17 21,759 Notes
December 23, 2013 East Carolina 37 Ohio 20 20,053 Notes
December 26, 2014 NC State 34 UCF 27 26,675 Notes
December 26, 2015 Marshall 16 Connecticut 10 14,652 Notes
December 26, 2016 Mississippi State 17 Miami (OH) 16 15,717 Notes

MVPs[edit]

Year MVP(s) Team Position
2008 Matt Grothe South Florida QB
2009 Mohamed Sanu Rutgers WR
2010 Jeremy Wright Louisville RB
2011 Aaron Dobson Marshall WR
2012 Blake Bortles UCF QB
2013 Vintavious Cooper East Carolina RB
2014 Jacoby Brissett NC State QB
2015 Deandre Reaves Marshall WR
2016 Nick Fitzgerald Mississippi State QB

Most appearances[edit]

Rank Team Appearances Record
1 UCF 3 1–2
T2 Marshall 2 2–0
T2 FIU 2 0–1
T4 East Carolina 1 1–0
T4 Louisville 1 1–0
T4 Rutgers 1 1–0
T4 South Florida 1 1–0
T4 N.C. State 1 1–0
T4 Mississippi State 1 1–0
T4 Ball State 1 0–1
T4 Connecticut 1 0–1
T4 Memphis 1 0–1
T4 Miami (OH) 1 0–1
T4 Ohio 1 0–1
T4 Southern Miss 1 0–1
T4 Temple 1 0–0

Wins by conference[edit]

Conference Wins Losses Pct.
ACC 1 0 1.000
SEC 1 0 1.000
Big East/American 3 2 .600
C-USA 4 3 .571
MAC 0 3 .000
Sun Belt 0 1 .000

Game records[edit]

Team Performance vs. Opponent Year
Most points scored 45, Rutgers vs. UCF 2009
Fewest points allowed 10, shared by;
 Marshall vs. Florida International
 Marshall vs. UConn

2011
2015
Margin of victory 27, South Florida vs. Memphis 2008
First downs 30, East Carolina vs. Ohio 2013
Rushing yards 281, East Carolina vs. Ohio 2013
Passing yards 401, South Florida vs. Memphis 2008
Total yards 568, East Carolina vs. Ohio 2013
Individual Player, Team Year
Points scored 12, many times (Last: Rakeem Cato, Marshall) 2010
Passing touchdowns 3, Matt Grothe, South Florida 2008
Rushing yards 198, Vintavious Cooper, East Carolina 2013
Passing yards 294, Tom Savage, Rutgers 2009
Receiving Yards 99, Tim Brown, Rutgers 2009

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]