MAC to play Conference USA in 2014 in newly created Boca Raton Bowl
CLEVELAND -- The Mid-American Conference announced on Friday the creation of a new bowl game in Boca Raton, Fla. for a six-year period (2014-19), which will be owned and operated by ESPN. The Boca Raton Bowl will be a pre-Christmas bowl game and will be televised nationally on ESPN or ESPN2. The Boca Raton Bowl will be played at FAU Stadium, an open-air stadium opened in 2011 which seats nearly 30,000 fans on the campus of Florida Atlantic University.
The creation of the Boca Raton Bowl is the beginning of a series of planned bowl announcements during the next several weeks and the centerpiece of a joint agreement between several FBS conferences. The MAC will play Conference USA in the Boca Raton Bowl in 2014 and the American Athletic Conference in 2015.
“The Mid-American Conference is pleased to partner with ESPN and several other conferences in the creation of the Boca Raton Bowl,” Jon Steinbrecher, Mid-American Conference commissioner, said. “This has all the ingredients for an excellent bowl game: a great location, wonderful facilities for student-athletes and fans and hungry teams. I am eagerly anticipating the inaugural game in December of 2014.”
The Boca Raton Bowl, in addition to bowl games that will be announced on future dates, will be supported by several FBS conferences on a six-year rotating basis.
With further announcements coming shortly, the MAC will have created two new primary appearances on an annual basis for the next six years. Starting in the 2014 college football season, the MAC will have a minimum five guaranteed bowl opportunities.
“We are pleased to be able to bring post season college football to the Boca Raton area and host institutions from the Mid-American Conference, American Athletic and Conference-USA,” said Pete Derzis, Senior Vice President & GM of ESPN Regional Television. “The many amenities of this area will make this a wonderful experience for the participating teams, their fans and administrators.”