Celebration Bowl announces six-year extension

The Celebration Bowl announced that it reached a six-year agreement with ESPN to televise the game, and that the game will continue at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The deal will run through 2026 and will continue to feature champions from the MEAC and SWAC conferences. This year’s Celebration Bowl features Jackson State and South Carolina State.

Executive director John Grant is excited that the Celebration Bowl will remain in Atlanta.

“We are delighted to extend our agreement with AMB Sports and Entertainment (which operates the stadium),” Grant said in a statement released Friday. “Opening the college football bowl season in Atlanta at one of the world’s premier sports and events venue, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, is something our teams and fans really enjoy.”

This year’s bowl game was a sellout (with capacity at the stadium capped at about 45,000), but many wondered if more tickets and seats would open up. Grant stated the importance of having a sellout but assured that if it is necessary, they will open more tickets for sell in the future.

“We configured the capacity,” Grant said at a news conference Friday. “That was always our intent, and that was around 45,000. It is always our intent to create a sellout and concentrate the fan in the good field that this stadium provides. Until we feel and believe we can say that at the next level, we don’t see (increasing the capacity) in the foreseeable future, unless we realize the fans will make it to that point.

The game has started at noon each year, and Grant believes that time slot is perfect.

“The time slot we are in is the best time for the bowls because we’re first,” Grant said. “In this time slot, we have no competition in the sports window. It gives us an opportunity maximize fans and to utilize this venue in a way that would allow the opportunity to convert the building.”