MAC Reaches Deal With New ESPN-Owned Camellia Bowl

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The Mid-American Conference has seen an increase in bowl eligible teams over the past few seasons. Monday the conference took a step to ensure as many of those teams get to play in the postseason as possible.

ESPN announced the creation of a new bowl game Monday, which will pair a team from the MAC against a team from the Sun Belt in Montgomery, Ala., starting in 2014. The Camellia Bowl (it’s named after the Alabama state flower) will take place in the city’s 91-year-old Cramton Bowl—a 25,000 seat stadium that has undergone $10 million worth of renovations in recent years. It will be played annually—sometime before Christmas.

The MAC reached a six-year deal with the ESPN-owned bowl making it a primary tie-in bowl for the conference. The deal runs through 2019. This new deal ensures that the conference will have at least three primary bowls for the immediate future, even if the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl can’t find a new home after this season. Ford Field, in Detroit is currently the home of the LCPB, but the Big Ten is starting a brand new bowl game in Ford Field in 2014, with a new conference partner.

Currently the MAC also has primary bowl tie-ins with the GoDaddy Bowl in Mobile, Ala. through the 2017 season, and the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho through 2019.