Gasparilla Bowl

Gasparilla Bowl
Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
Stadium Raymond James Stadium
Location Tampa, Florida
Previous stadiums Tropicana Field
Previous locations St. Petersburg, Florida
Operated 2008–present
Conference tie-ins American, ACC, C-USA
Alternates: MAC, Sun Belt
Payout US$500,000[1]
magicJack (2008)
Beef O'Brady's (2009–2013)
BitPay (2014)
Bad Boy Mowers (2017–present)
2016 matchup
Mississippi State vs. Miami (OH) (Mississippi State 17–16)
2017 matchup
Temple vs. FIU (Temple 28–3)

The Gasparilla Bowl is an annual NCAA-sanctioned post-season college football bowl game played in the Tampa Bay Area. It was first played in 2008 as the St. Petersburg Bowl at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The game was renamed the Gasparilla Bowl in 2017 as a nod to the legend of José Gaspar, a mythical pirate who supposedly operated in the Tampa Bay area and who is the inspiration for Tampa's Gasparilla Pirate Festival. In May 2018, the owners announced the bowl would be relocated to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.[2]

Since 2017, the game has been sponsored by Bad Boy Mowers and officially known as Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.[3] Previous sponsors include Bitcoin (2014), Beef O'Brady's (2009–2013), and magicJack (2008). From 2010 to 2013 when Beef O'Brady's was the title sponsor, the game was officially known as simply the Beef O'Brady's Bowl.[4]

The bowl game features teams from the American Athletic Conference against either the Atlantic Coast Conference or Conference USA, unless one of the conferences does not have enough bowl eligible teams, in which case the Mid-American or Sun Belt Conference are eligible to send a team. The 2016 edition of the game featured an SEC team, Mississippi State.


The St. Petersburg Bowl is the third college bowl game to be played in the Tampa Bay area; both the long-defunct Cigar Bowl and the ongoing Outback Bowl have been held across the bay in Tampa.

On April 30, 2008, the NCAA's Postseason Football Licensing Subcommittee approved a to-be-named bowl for Tropicana Field to be played after the 2008 college football season.[5] On November 25, 2008, ESPN Regional Television, the game's owner, announced a one-year title sponsorship agreement with magicJack.[6]

The inaugural game was played on Dec 20, 2008, between the South Florida Bulls and Memphis Tigers, with the USF Bulls winning by a score of 41–14. USF Quarterback Matt Grothe was named Most Outstanding Player, after throwing for 236 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 83 yards on 15 carries.

Both the UCF Knights and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights accepted bids to play in the 2009 St. Petersburg Bowl on December 19, 2009. On December 9, 2009, the bowl's name was changed to the St. Petersburg Bowl Presented by Beef O'Brady's after the restaurant chain obtained a title sponsorship.[7] In the second St. Petersburg Bowl, Rutgers defeated Central Florida 45–24.

In 2010, the bowl's name was shortened to the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl and pitted the Southern Miss Golden Eagles against the Louisville Cardinals on December 21, 2010. It was the 29th meeting between former Conference USA rivals.[8] After falling behind 14–0 and 21–7, Louisville came back to win their sixth contest in a row against Southern Miss, 31–28[9]

The 2011 game featured the first Sun Belt Conference team to play in the game, as Florida International lost 20–10 to Marshall (Conference USA). This was the first time that the Big East was unable to send a team to the game. FIU joined Marshall in C-USA in 2013, both will compete in the conference's East Division for football.

Beef 'O' Brady's stopped sponsoring the bowl after the 2013 edition.[10] On June 18, 2014, it was announced that Bitcoin payment service provider BitPay would become the new sponsor of the game under a two-year deal, renamed the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. Bitcoin, the digital currency, was accepted for ticket and concession sales at the game as part of the sponsorship, and the sponsorship itself was also paid for using bitcoin.[11][12] On April 2, 2015, after one year of sponsorship, BitPay declined to renew sponsorship of the game.[13]

On August 23, 2017, Bad Boy Mowers signed a three-year deal to become the official title sponsor of the game, which was rebranded as the Bay Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.[14]


Since Tropicana Field was originally designed for baseball, the football gridiron is arranged along the right field line, from home plate to the foul pole. The game is one of three to take place in a baseball-only stadium among current post-season football contests; the others are the Cactus Bowl, played at Chase Field in Phoenix, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Pinstripe Bowl in The Bronx, New York at Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees. The Fight Hunger Bowl, was played at San Francisco's AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants but moved to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California (home of the San Francisco 49ers) in 2014. The Miami Beach Bowl, was played at Miami's Marlins Park, home of the Miami Marlins, but moved to Toyota Stadium (home to FC Dallas of Major League Soccer) in Frisco, Texas to become the Frisco Bowl in 2017.

Between 2000 and 2005, the Insight Bowl was played at the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona after being moved from Tucson, while the 2001 Seattle Bowl was played at Safeco Field while CenturyLink Field was being built on the site of the Kingdome. Original plans had the Military Bowl in Washington being played at Nationals Park, but the game was played at RFK Stadium during the years that Washington hosted it (the Military Bowl has since moved to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland).

Three other bowls, the International Bowl, the Bluebonnet Bowl, and the Chick-fil-A Bowl, were also played in baseball stadiums, but Toronto's Rogers Centre (the home of the defunct International Bowl), Houston's Astrodome (home of the Bluebonnet Bowl) and Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium (home of the then-Peach Bowl) were purposely built to house both baseball and football.

In May of 2018, the owners announced the bowl would be moving to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.[2]

Game results

DateWinning TeamLosing TeamAttendanceNotes
December 20, 2008South Florida41Memphis1425,205Notes
December 19, 2009Rutgers45UCF2428,793Notes
December 21, 2010Louisville31Southern Miss2820,017Notes
December 20, 2011Marshall20FIU1020,072Notes
December 21, 2012UCF38Ball State1721,759Notes
December 23, 2013East Carolina37Ohio2020,053Notes
December 26, 2014NC State34UCF2726,675Notes
December 26, 2015Marshall16Connecticut1014,652Notes
December 26, 2016Mississippi State17Miami (OH)1615,717Notes
December 21, 2017Temple28FIU316,363Notes


2008Matt GrotheSouth FloridaQB
2009Mohamed SanuRutgersWR
2010Jeremy WrightLouisvilleRB
2011Aaron DobsonMarshallWR
2012Blake BortlesUCFQB
2013Vintavious CooperEast CarolinaRB
2014Jacoby BrissettNC StateQB
2015Deandre ReavesMarshallWR
2016Nick FitzgeraldMississippi StateQB
2017Frank NutileTempleQB

Most appearances

Teams with multiple appearances
Rank Team Appearances Record
Teams with a single appearance

Won: East Carolina, Louisville, Mississippi State, NC State, Rutgers, South Florida, Temple
Lost: Ball State, Connecticut, Memphis, Miami (OH), Ohio, Southern Miss

Appearances by conference

Rank Conference Appearances Wins Losses Pct.
T2Big East[n 1]3301.000
T2The American[n 2]3120.333
T5Sun Belt1010.000
  1. USF (2008), Rutgers (2009), and Louisville (2010) participated as members of the original Big East Conference, which split in 2013.
  2. UCF participated as a member of Conference USA (2009 and 2012) and the American Athletic Conference (2014).

Game records

Team Performance vs. Opponent Year
Most points scored 45, Rutgers vs. UCF 2009
Fewest points allowed 3, Temple vs. FIU 2017
Margin of victory 27, South Florida vs. Memphis 2008
First downs 30, East Carolina vs. Ohio 2013
Rushing yards 281, East Carolina vs. Ohio 2013
Passing yards 401, South Florida vs. Memphis 2008
Total yards 568, East Carolina vs. Ohio 2013
Individual Player, Team Year
Points scored 12, many times (Last: Rakeem Cato, Marshall) 2010
Passing touchdowns 3, Matt Grothe, South Florida 2008
Rushing yards 198, Vintavious Cooper, East Carolina 2013
Passing yards 294, Tom Savage, Rutgers 2009
Receiving Yards 99, Tim Brown, Rutgers 2009

See also


  1. "College Football".
  2. 1 2 "Gasparilla Bowl leaving St. Petersburg after 10 years". 10NEWS. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  3. "Bad Boy Mowers Signs on as New Bowl Game Title Sponsor Bowl Game Changes Name to Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl". Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  4. "'O' No! Beef 'O' Brady's to drop sponsorship of local bowl game". Tampa Bay Business Journal.
  5. NCAA committee approves 34 football bowl games The Associated Press, April 30, 2008. Accessed April 30, 2008.
  6. "No longer St. Pete Bowl" Archived 2012-09-14 at from Tampa Tribune, 2008-11-25, retrieved 2008-12-02
  7. "Golden Eagles to Face Louisville in Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl" 2010-12-05, retrieved 2010-12-05
  8. "Louisville holds on for 31-28 win over Southern Miss in Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl". Tampa Bay Times.
  9. "'O' No! Beef 'O' Brady's to drop sponsorship of local bowl game". Tampa Bay Business Journal.
  10. Wilkerson, Chris (August 22, 2014). "BitPay exec: We paid ESPN for our sponsorship in bitcoin". Tampa Bay Business Journal.
  11. "BitPay to Sponsor St. Petersburg Bowl in First Major Bitcoin Sports Deal". Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  12. "Bitcoin backer BitPay dumps St. Pete Bowl sponsorship". Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  13. "Bad Boy Mowers Signs on as New Bowl Game Title Sponsor Bowl Game Changes Name to Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl". Retrieved August 23, 2017.
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