St. Petersburg Bowl
|St. Petersburg Bowl|
|Location||St. Petersburg, Florida|
|Conference tie-ins||American, ACC, C-USA
Alternates: MAC, Sun Belt
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)
|Mississippi State vs. Miami (OH)
(Mississippi State 17–16)
|TBD (December 21, 2017)|
The St. Petersburg Bowl 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. When Beef O'Brady's became the sponsor in 2009, the official name was changed to the St. Petersburg Bowl Presented by Beef 'O' Brady's and in 2010, the game became known as the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl. The restaurant stopped sponsoring the bowl in 2014. 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, will be accepted for ticket and concession sales at the game as part of the sponsorship, and the sponsorship itself was also paid for using bitcoin. On April 2, 2015, after one year of sponsorship, BitPay declined to renew sponsorship of the game.
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.
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. On November 25, 2008, ESPN Regional Television, the game's owner, announced a one-year title sponsorship agreement with magicJack.
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. In the second St. Petersburg Bowl, Rutgers defeated Central Florida 45–24.
The 2010 Beef 'O' Brady's bowl pitted the Southern Miss Golden Eagles against the Louisville Cardinals on December 21, 2010. It was the 29th meeting between former Conference USA rivals. After falling behind 14–0 and 21–7, Louisville came back to win their sixth contest in a row against Southern Miss, 31–28
The 2011 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl 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.
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 four to take place in a baseball-only stadium among current post-season football contests; the others are the Miami Beach Bowl, played at Miami's Marlins Park, home of the Miami Marlins, 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.
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.
|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|
|2008||Matt Grothe||South Florida||QB|
|2013||Vintavious Cooper||East Carolina||RB|
|2014||Jacoby Brissett||NC State||QB|
|2016||Nick Fitzgerald||Mississippi State||QB|
Wins by conference
|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
|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|
|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|
-  "'O' No! Beef 'O' Brady's to drop sponsorship of local bowl game" Tampa Bay Business Journal January 8, 2014
- Wilkerson, Chris (August 22, 2014). "BitPay exec: We paid ESPN for our sponsorship in bitcoin". Tampa Bay Business Journal.
- "BitPay to Sponsor St. Petersburg Bowl in First Major Bitcoin Sports Deal". Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- "Bitcoin backer BitPay dumps St. Pete Bowl sponsorship". Retrieved 2 April 2015.
- NCAA committee approves 34 football bowl games The Associated Press, ESPN.com. April 30, 2008. Accessed April 30, 2008.
- "No longer St. Pete Bowl" from Tampa Tribune, 2008-11-25, retrieved 2008-12-02
- *"Beef O Brady's Sponsorship Press Release" 2009-12-09, retrieved 2009-12-13
- "Golden Eagles to Face Louisville in Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl" 2010-12-05, retrieved 2010-12-05