MEAC Champion SC State to Play in Cricket Celebration Bowl

The sixth annual Cricket Celebration Bowl – to be played Saturday, Dec. 18 at noon ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and televised live on ABC – has extended its first invitation to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) college football champion, South Carolina State University. The Bulldogs defeated rival Norfolk State on Saturday with a score of 31-21 to earn the invitation. They will play the champion of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).

“Congratulations to MEAC champion South Carolina State for punching their ticket to the Cricket Celebration Bowl,” said Executive Director John Grant, who was on-site at the game in Norfolk, Va., to present South Carolina State Head Coach Buddy Pugh with the official invitation. “We are excited for the Bulldogs to make their first appearance and join us in this championship matchup.”

Now in its sixth year, the Cricket Celebration Bowl has established itself as a premier college football 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 broadcast nationally on ABC. ESPN Events collaborates with its sponsors and Divine Nine Greek organizations to organize the game’s ancillary events, which includes a fan experience, community service projects, and more.

North Carolina A&T won the inaugural Celebration Bowl game in 2015. In all, the Aggies have captured four of the five Celebration Bowl titles, including the last three straight from 2017-19. The Celebration Bowl is returning in 2021 after a one-year absence due to the 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

Fans can purchase tickets to the Cricket Celebration Bowl online at or, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Prices range from $15 to $175 including taxes and fees.  A full list of events surrounding the game are available on the event’s website.

For MEAC fans, a special rate of $145/night is being offered at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, and is available for December 17-18.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

For SWAC fans, a special rate of $126/night is being offered at the Hilton Atlanta, and is available for December 17-18. Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

Additional hotel rooms are available at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Atlanta Downtown for $124/night.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games, the FCS opening-weekend game, 16 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 375-plus hours of live programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts 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, 704-258-4832 or [email protected]
ESPN: Bill Hofheimer, 860-766-9589 or [email protected]