SEC bowl games continue coming to Birmingham

(WIAT-CBS42, Sebastian Posey)
(WIAT-CBS42, Sebastian Posey)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, agreed to a multi-year contract with the Southeastern Conference to continue making Birmingham a host city for future bowl games.

You can read the full press release below, provided by UAB.

BIRMINGHAM, AL – ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, announced a new multi-year agreement with the Southeastern Conference (SEC) to provide a bowl-eligible team for the Birmingham, Ala.-based bowl game – the BBVA Compass Bowl.

The deal is over six years and gives Birmingham the ninth overall pick from SEC bowl-eligible teams starting with the 2014 postseason and running through 2019. The SEC has been a partner with the bowl since 2008.

“The SEC is pleased to continue its agreement with the Birmingham Bowl,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “The SEC has strong ties to the Birmingham community and I am glad we can continue to grow that relationship through this bowl game. Birmingham is centrally located for our schools and their fans, making it an attractive bowl experience.”

This year’s game, the final year of a four-year agreement, will feature a bowl-eligible team from the SEC vs. a bowl-eligible team from the American Athletic Conference (formerly The BIG EAST) and will be played at Historic Legion Field in Birmingham on Saturday, Jan. 4. at noon ET.

According to figures provided by the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, the first seven bowl games have generated over $80 million in economic impact to the city of Birmingham, including $21.4 million generated last year when over 55,000 fans jammed Legion Field to witness the matchup between Ole Miss and Pitt.

“We are very pleased to extend our deal with the SEC through the 2019 season,” said Mark Meadows, Executive Director of the BBVA Compass Bowl. “The local fans and the corporate community are passionate about college football and have been very supportive of our game through the first seven years. We look forward to continuing to provide the most compelling matchup possible for our fans and supporters.”

Since 2006, the bowl has donated $175,000 to the Monday Morning Quarterback Club in support of its charitable arm, the Crippled Children’s Foundation. The donations offer direct financial support to charities providing vital medical services to children, which would not otherwise be available. Additionally the bowl, in partnership with its conference partners and sponsors, has donated thousands of tickets to local charitable organizations and to the military each year.

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