FAU Stadium to begin hosting Boca Raton Bowl in 2014

Wesley Wright

Beginning in 2014, FAU Stadium will host the Boca Raton Bowl, an annual contest between teams from the Mid-American Conference, American Athletic Conference, and FAU’s conference, Conference-USA. Photo by Ryan Murphy.
Beginning in 2014, FAU Stadium will host the Boca Raton Bowl, an annual contest between teams from the Mid-American Conference, American Athletic Conference, and FAU’s conference, Conference-USA. Photo by Ryan Murphy.

There’s been speculation, but now there’s confirmation –– FAU Stadium is getting its own bowl game.

The NCAA announced on Friday that, beginning in 2014, the Boca Raton Bowl will take place “pre-Christmas” at FAU Stadium, with ESPN or ESPN2 slated to televise the game.

The annual contest will pit teams from the Mid-American Conference, Conference USA, and American Athletic Conference, as each will play in the game four times over the next six seasons.

“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, told the NCAA’s official website. “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.”

Representatives from C-USA, MAC, AAC, FAU and ESPN all gathered at FAU Stadium on Friday morning to make the news official.

“It’s an automatic gain,” FAU Athletic Director Pat Chun told the Sun Sentinel. “So for us at FAU, six home football games by 2015, the bowl game, we’ll have a guaranteed seven football games at our stadium a year, which, when you have a facility this nice, you better play football in it.”

Chun said that FAU isn’t expected to compete in its own backyard, as the team would ideally be competing elsewhere.

“My dream is that we’re playing somewhere else, so we get two bites out of the bowl apple in December,” Chun told the Sentinel.

ESPN is expecting to have a sponsor for the “Boca Raton Bowl” secured before the start of the 2014 season. The MAC will support the bowl until 2019, after which other conferences will take over on a rotating basis.

“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,” Pete Derzis, Senior Vice President & GM of ESPN Regional Television, told the NCAA website. “The many amenities of this area will make this a wonderful experience for the participating teams, their fans and administrators.”