Cigar Bowl

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Cigar Bowl (defunct)
Stadium Phillips Field
Location Tampa, Florida
Operated 1947–1954

The Cigar Bowl was a post-season college football bowl game featuring small college teams which was held in Tampa, Florida from 1947 to 1954. It was played at Phillips Field,[1][2] which was located across the Hillsborough River from downtown Tampa at the current site of Tampa Preparatory School and Julian Lane Riverfront Park. In some years, the game was part of a month-long "sports circus" in Tampa, with college basketball, golf, and tennis tournaments scheduled around the area along with horse racing and boxing.[3]

The Cigar Bowl itself was sponsored by the local Egypt Temple Shrine as a fundraising event.[4] After a few years, the limited capacity of Phillips Field (20,000 with temporary bleachers) and the rising cost of hosting the contest caused the organization to rethink its sponsorship. The Shriners discontinued support in 1955, and the bowl folded.[5] There were several attempts to revive the game as a major bowl in subsequent years, but the lack of a larger venue made drawing top college teams impossible.[6] (Tampa Stadium was not constructed until 1967.[7]) Tampa would next host a college bowl game in 1986, when the Hall of Fame Bowl (later renamed the Outback Bowl) relocated from Birmingham, Alabama.

The bowl's name was inspired by the local cigar industry, which had been a major factor in Tampa's growth around the turn of the 20th Century. Most notably, this was the site of the first bowl game for the Florida State Seminoles (1950) and the Tampa Spartans (1952). There were three games played in December (1951, 1952, 1954) while the rest of the games were played in January.

Game results[edit]

Date Winning Team Losing Team
January 1, 1947 Delaware 21 Rollins 7
January 1, 1948 Missouri Valley 26 West Chester 7
January 1, 1949 Missouri Valley 13 St. Thomas 13
January 2, 1950 Florida State 19 Wofford Terriers 6
January 1, 1951 Wisconsin–La Crosse 47 Valparaiso Crusaders 14
December 29, 1951 Brooke Army Medical Center 20 Camp Lejeune 0
December 13, 1952 University of Tampa 21 Lenoir-Rhyne 12
January 1, 1954 Missouri Valley 12 Wisconsin–La Crosse 12
December 17, 1954 University of Tampa 21 Charleston 0

See also[edit]