ESPN Events Reaches New Six-Year Agreement for Cricket Celebration Bowl to Continue at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta


ESPN Events has reached a new six-year agreement for the Cricket Celebration Bowl to continue at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Now in its sixth year, the annual college football bowl game featuring champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) will continue to be contested at the home of the Atlanta Falcons thru 2026.

The 2021 Cricket Celebration Bowl will be played this Saturday, Dec. 18, at noon ET as the SWAC champion Jackson State University Tigers face the MEAC champion South Carolina State Bulldogs. The game will be televised nationally on ABC.

“We are delighted to extend our agreement with AMB Sports and Entertainment. Opening the college football bowl season in Atlanta at one of the world’s premier sports and events venues, Mercedes- Benz Stadium, is something our teams and fans really enjoy,” said John Grant, executive director of the Cricket Celebration Bowl.

“We are thrilled to be the home of the Cricket Wireless Celebration Bowl,” said Tim Zulawski, Chief Revenue Officer for AMB Sports and Entertainment. “John Grant and his team at ESPN Events does an outstanding job promoting HBCU football and we are excited to host this game through at least 2026.”

Entering its sixth year, the Cricket Celebration Bowl has established itself as a premier bowl game, celebrating the heritage, legacy, pageantry, and tradition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The championship-style game between the MEAC and SWAC champions is televised on ABC. ESPN Events collaborates with its sponsors and the Divine Nine Greek organizations to schedule the game’s ancillary events, which includes a fan experience, community service projects, and more.

Since its debut in 2015, the Celebration Bowl is the only Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision bowl game. The game was played at the Georgia Dome the first two years (2015-16) before moving into its new home at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2017. The bowl is making its return in 2021 after a one-year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Celebration Bowl Games (2015-present):
2015 North Carolina A&T def. Alcorn State, 41-34
2016  Grambling State def. North Carolina Central, 10-9
2017  North Carolina A&T def. Grambling State, 21-14
2018  North Carolina A&T def. Alcorn State, 24-22
2019  North Carolina A&T def. Alcorn, 64-44
2020 No event due to COVID pandemic
2021  Jackson State vs. South Carolina State

For tickets and additional information on the Cricket Celebration Bowl, visit

About Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Opened in August 2017, Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a world-class sports and entertainment venue in downtown Atlanta and home to the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United. The multi-purpose stadium was named the 2019 Sports Facility of the Year and is host to major sports and entertainment events, including the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, 2018 MLS All-Star Game and Super Bowl LIII. Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the first professional sports stadium in North America to achieve LEED Platinum Certification by the United States Green Building Council. Mercedes-Benz Stadium is proud to be collaborating with naming rights partner Mercedes-Benz and 13 founding partners, which include Coca-Cola, Equifax, The Home Depot, Novelis, SCANA Energy, Truist, IBM, Georgia Power, American Family Insurance and Global Payments. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About ESPN Events 
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes five early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 12 college basketball events, and a college softball event, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaching almost 64 million viewers and attracting over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and Tampa, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official websiteFacebookTwitter or YouTube pages.

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Media Contacts:
Celebration Bowl: Michelle Jinks 704-856-9320 or [email protected]
AMB Sports and Entertainment: Jason Kirksey, 251.370.8258, [email protected]
ESPN: Bill Hofheimer, 860-766-9589 or [email protected]