Televised on Tuesday night on ESPN for five years, the 2019 Boca Raton Bowl is going network and weekend.
The college football bowl game will be televised at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21 on ABC-TV.
“ABC and ESPN are both owned by The Walt Disney Company,” Doug Mosley, executive director, told Boca Voice.
“The opportunity to be on ABC this year came around due to the compressed calendar and less days available for bowl games prior to Christmas.
“With Thanksgiving falling on Nov. 28, and in turn the conferences’ football championship games not taking place until Dec. 6 and 7, this pushed the first permissible date for bowl games all the way back to Friday, Dec. 20. Even opening on Friday instead of Saturday necessitated a waiver from the NCAA,” he said.
“Through our first five years we’d played our game on the Tuesday before Christmas, but this year that is Christmas eve. A lot of options were under consideration. And when the 3:30 p.m. ET slot on Saturday on national network TV became a possibility, we were really excited at the opportunity it presented for us to play our game under the beautiful Florida sunshine in front of the largest potential audience we’ve ever had.”
The game is broadcast from Florida Atlantic Stadium on the Boca Raton campus. It’s one of 15 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN events.
The two teams are from Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference or the American Athletic Conference. Last year’s game was played the night of Dec. 18. The score was 37-13, won by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers against the Northern Illinois Huskies. Attendance was 22,614.
Cheribundi Tart Cherry Juice will return for the third year as the title sponsor. Palm Beach County considers the game part of the holiday tourist season.
Boca Mayor Scott Singer welcomed the chance to play in the daylight this year. “We’re eager to welcome a network audience to Boca Raton for this year’s game,” Singer said in a statement.