The 2016 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl will once again be televised live on ABC and open the bowl season. The postseason college football bowl game will kick off at noon ET on Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
The Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, which showcases the heritage, legacy, pageantry and tradition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), pits the conference champion from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) against the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). In 2015, MEAC champion North Carolina A&T State University defeated SWAC champion Alcorn State University 41-34 in front of over 35,000 fans.
“We are pleased to once again open the bowl season with the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl on ABC,” said John Grant, Celebration Bowl Executive Director. “By presenting the champions of the MEAC and SWAC conferences in this bowl game we expose millions of fans to the excitement of championship football.”
“We are elated about today’s announcement that the 2016 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl will be televised on ABC,” said Dennis Thomas, Commissioner, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. “By all objective measures, the inaugural 2015 bowl was a huge success and I am confident that the 2016 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl will be even better. I am even more excited about the bowl experience that the institutions, student-athletes and coaches will have on a national platform. We would like to commend ESPN for their commitment to the MEAC and SWAC Champions for this postseason bowl game.”
“The SWAC is thrilled to continue its relationship with the Air Force Reserved Celebration Bowl and ABC,” SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp said. “Two of the best teams in country, the MEAC champion versus the SWAC champion, in early December is a great way to kick off the bowl season. Playing on ABC, the pageantry of the game and the opportunity to play in a venue like the Georgia Dome and a city such as Atlanta, makes for a fantastic bowl experience for our student-athletes and football fans everywhere.”
Tickets for the game, a full ancillary event schedule and discounted rates at downtown Atlanta hotels will be available this summer. To stay up to date on Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl announcements, sign up for updates on www.TheCelebrationBowl.com, and follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, also manages the season-opening MEAC/SWAC Challenge on Labor Day Weekend, another game that showcases these two conferences and highlights the traditions of HBCUs. The 2016 Challenge features defending SWAC champion Alcorn State against defending MEAC co-champion Bethune-Cookman, and will be played Sunday, Sept. 4 at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium, live on ESPN.