Florida Citrus Sports Executive Director Steve Hogan announced today that the 2008 Champs Sports Bowl will be played at 4:30 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, December 27. The game, the first of two bowls hosted in Orlando, will air nationwide on ESPN.
Florida Citrus Sports’ other game, the Capital One Bowl, will kick off at its traditional slot of 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2008 on ABC.
The Champs Sports Bowl has continued to make great progress since moving to Orlando. Last year’s attendance figure of 46,554 was the highest since the game moved to Orlando, the sixth-straight year the game has shown an increase and the third-highest attendance in the history of the bowl.
The current growth is bolstered by stronger conference tie-ins for the game. The bowl is in its third year of pairing upper-tier teams from the Atlantic Coast and the Big Ten conferences. The 2008 Champs Sports Bowl will have the third post-BCS selection in the ACC and the fourth post-BCS pick in the Big Ten. Currently, the Champs Sports Bowl is the only bowl matchup between the ACC and Big Ten.
The 2007 Champs Sports Bowl saw the game feature its first-ever 11-game winner as soon-to-be first-round draft pick Matt Ryan and the Boston College Eagles defeated Michigan State, 24-21. Last year’s game also posted a 23 percent improvement in television ratings from the year previous, posting a 3.7, the game’s highest since coming to Orlando and seventh among all non-Bowl Championship Series games in ’07-08.
The Champs Sports Bowl has existed in name since 2004, but the game’s history extends for over 17 years. Originating as the Blockbuster Bowl in 1990 and played in Miami, the game was played under a number of titles before moving to Orlando in 2001 and serving as a reincarnation of the old Tangerine Bowl. It was the addition of Champs Sports as a title sponsor that allowed Florida Citrus Sports to aggressively pursue the growth and development that made the game what it is today.
Tickets for the game will be $50 if purchased before November 1, 2008, and $60 thereafter. Memberships for the Florida Citrus Sports 2008-09 season, ?which include tickets to both the Champs Sports Bowl and the Capital One Bowl, are now available. Please call 407.423.2476 or visit www.FCSports.com for more information.