Celebration Bowl

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Celebration Bowl
Celebration Bowl Logo, 2017.png
Stadium Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Location Atlanta, Georgia
Previous stadiums Georgia Dome (2015–16)
Operated 2015–present
Conference tie-ins MEAC, SWAC
Payout US$2,000,000
($1M Per conference)
Preceded by Heritage Bowl (1991–99)
Pelican Bowl (1972, 1974–75)
Air Force Reserve (2015–2017)
2016 matchup
Grambling State v. NC Central (Grambling State 10–9)
2017 matchup
North Carolina A&T v. Grambling State (December 16, 2017)

The Celebration Bowl is a post-season college football bowl game that began play in the 2015 season. The game, organized by ESPN Events, is contested between the champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) — the two prominent conferences of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in NCAA Division I. It serves as the de facto national championship of Black college football and is the only active bowl game to feature teams from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Starting with the December 2017 game, it is played at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium; the first two games were played at the Georgia Dome.

The game is a successor to two previous bowl games between the MEAC and SWAC, the Pelican Bowl and Heritage Bowl. The game is organized by ESPN Events,[1] which also runs the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, the annual interconference game between the two conferences, held over Labor Day weekend in Orlando, Florida.[2][3][4] Because the Celebration Bowl takes place during the FCS playoff tournament, neither the SWAC nor the MEAC can send their champion to the tournament; as it is, the SWAC's regular season already extended too late into the year for its teams to qualify before the bowl was established. In June 2017, the SWAC announced that it will forgo its football championship game following the 2017 SWAC Football Championship, resulting in the SWAC regular season champion qualifying automatically for the Celebration Bowl.[5]

Game results[edit]

Date MEAC Team SWAC Team Attendance Series Notes
December 19, 2015 North Carolina A&T Aggies 41 Alcorn State Braves 34 35,528 MEAC 1–0 notes
December 17, 2016 North Carolina Central Eagles 9 Grambling State Tigers 10 31,096 TIED 1–1 notes
December 16, 2017 North Carolina A&T Aggies 21 Grambling State Tigers 14 25,873 MEAC 2–1 notes


Two MVPs are selected for each game; one an offensive player, the other a defensive player.[6]

Game MVPs Team Position
2017 Marquell Cartwright North Carolina A&T RB
Franklin "Mac" McCain III North Carolina A&T CB
2016 Martez Carter Grambling State RB
Jameel Jackson Grambling State DB
2015 Tarik Cohen North Carolina A&T RB
Denzel Jones North Carolina A&T LB



Date Network Play-by-play announcers Color commentators Sideline reporters
2017 ABC Mark Neely Jay Walker Tiffany Greene
2016 ABC[7] Mark Neely Jay Walker Tiffany Greene
2015 ABC[8] Mark Neely Jay Walker Tiffany Greene


Date Network Play-by-play announcers Color commentators Sideline reporters
2017 RedVoice, LLC Sam Crenshaw Randy McMichael Lericia Harris
2016 RedVoice, LLC Sam Crenshaw Hugh Douglas Lericia Harris
2015 RedVoice, LLC Sam Crenshaw Hugh Douglas

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hudson, Phill W. (18 March 2015). "Atlanta to Host New Celebration Bowl". Atlanta Business Chronicle. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Patterson, Chip. "MEAC, SWAC to play in Atlanta-based Celebration Bowl after 2015 season". www.cbssports.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Reese, Earnest (December 21, 1996). "Heritage Bowl struggling for acceptance". The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. p. 9H. 
  4. ^ "Champions of MEAC, SWAC to meet in new Celebration Bowl". www.usatoday.com. Associated Press. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "SWAC To Forgo Football Title Game After 2017". SWAC.org. NeuLion. Retrieved 13 June 2017. 
  6. ^ "MVP Awards". thecelebrationbowl.com. Retrieved June 17, 2017. 
  7. ^ "College Football Playoff Featuring Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington Highlights ESPN's 38-Game Bowl Schedule". ESPN Media Zone. Retrieved December 6, 2016. 
  8. ^ "College Football Playoff Highlights 2015-16 Bowl Schedule". ESPN Media Zone. Retrieved December 8, 2015. 

External links[edit]