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Inaugural Bahamas Bowl to pit C-USA vs MAC

Set for Dec. 24 at 11 AM CT on ESPN

May 14, 2014 · @MTAthletics

NASSAU, Bahamas - The inaugural Bahamas Bowl, featuring teams from Conference USA and the Mid-American Conference is set for Wednesday, December 24, 2014 at noon EST.

The game, to be held at Nassau's 15,000-seat Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, will be televised in the United States by ESPN and broadcast on ESPN Radio.

"We worked very hard to secure December 24 as our game date with both the Bahamian government and ESPN," said Bahamas Bowl Executive Director Lea Miller. "The noon kickoff time gives us the opportunity to bring postseason college football to the local fans and those travelling to Nassau for the Bahamas Bowl, and the game will show off the Bahamas and its' hospitality to everyone who will watch the game on ESPN."

ESPN has signed a six-year deal with the Bahamas Bowl to televise and broadcast the game on TV and radio.

"The inaugural Bahamas Bowl is a great opportunity to provide fans with a Christmas Eve college football game and an excellent addition to our extensive lineup of postseason coverage," said Kurt Dargis, director, ESPN college football programming.

The 2014 Bahamas Bowl is the first postseason FBS bowl game outside of either the United States or Canada between two U.S. teams since the Jan. 1, 1937 Bacardi Bowl in Havana, Cuba, a 7-7 tie between Auburn and Villanova.

"The Bahamas Bowl is such a wonderful opportunity for our student-athletes, coaches and fans," said Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky. "Thanks to ESPN, the United States will be able to watch and experience the Bahamas on December 24. It's going to be amazing."

"The Mid-American Conference is pleased to partner with the Bahamian government, The Atlantis resort and Conference USA in the creation of this new and unique college football game," said MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher. "The event will provide a one-of-a-kind experience for the student-athletes and fans. I am eagerly anticipating December and the inaugural Bahamas Bowl."

Robinson National Stadium, built in 2012, has been upgraded in recent months for major international events, including the Bahamas Bowl.

"Robinson National Stadium is a jewel of Nassau for sporting events," Miller said. "We are pleased with the facility and the upgrades that have been added. It will make for a great venue for the teams and the fans to watch the best of Conference USA and the MAC play."

The bowl game will be an important showcase for the Bahamas' long-term goal of positioning the islands as an international sports tourism destination.

"Sports and tourism now brings us a platform where we can show the world what the Bahamas has naturally and what we can do," said Bahamas Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Harrison Thompson. "The Bahamas Bowl marks one of the marquee events that we will have. It is history for the Bahamas, and all of us like to be part of history."

For more information on the 2014 Bahamas Bowl, visit BahamasBowl.com.

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