“Bowl games are truly better in The Bahamas.”
Organizers of the Bahamas Bowl announced preliminary plans for this year’s event during a briefing at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium on Thursday.
In an effort to attract a larger crowd, executives said, the 2018 Bahamas Bowl will be hosted earlier on December 21, 2018 at the stadium between Conference USA and the Mid-American Conference with a 12:30 p.m. kickoff.
“Bowl games are truly better in The Bahamas,” said ESPN Senior Vice President of College Sports Programming and Events Pete Derzis.
“We are thankful for the support we have received from everyone that has helped to make this event what it is today. From the Ministry of Sports to the Ministry of Tourism, the National Sports Authority (NSA) and all the other people that work to put on this bowl game. We are excited to be back in The Bahamas once again for the fifth edition of the bowl game.”
Also on hand for the event was Minister of Transport and Local Government Frankie Campbell, who said, the new date is the perfect time for the event.
“It won’t interfere with Christmas shopping or Junkanoo preparation – two things that Bahamians love to do,” said Campbell.
“We are looking forward to having a full house in December. These collegiate athletes are used to playing in front of 40-50,000 fans so, we need to come out and show our appreciation for the game of American football.”
Once again, the Atlantis Resort will serve as the host hotel for the teams and officials traveling for the event.
“We are grateful that the Atlantis Resort is able to host so many of these kinds of events,” said Atlantis Senior VP of Public Affairs Ed Fields.
“We are happy that we can provide some of these young men and women with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
There has been plenty of success on the field for all of the participating teams. Both of the first two winners of the bowl — WKU in 2014 and Western Michigan in 2015 — went on to win their respective conference titles the following season, and Western Michigan participated in a New Year’s Six bowl after an undefeated season in 2016.
A total of 18 alumni who have participated in the bowl have heard their names called by teams during the 2015-18 NFL Drafts, led by Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis, who was selected No. 5 overall by the Tennessee Titans in the 2017 draft.
Four former student-athletes who played in the Bahamas Bowl were selected in the 2018 NFL Draft, while a bowl-record total of seven student-athletes were taken in 2016. In addition, eight former Bahamas Bowl alumni played in at least one NFL game in 2017.