Months before Major League Baseball’s regular season begins, college football bowl games will take place at ballparks around the country. In the coming weeks, these games will provide a fitting conclusion to the college football season, and serve as events that, for ballparks, help to break up the MLB offseason.
College football games at ballparks is an interesting trend, thanks to the variety of venues and teams in the mix. Earlier this year, we provided a full rundown of 2017 college football games at ballparks, a slate that included three bowl games. Months later, the teams participating in those games are finalized, giving fans an opportunity to plan for some interesting matchups.
Up first in the mix of bowl games at ballparks will be the Gasparilla Bowl at Tropicana Field, home to the Tampa Bay Rays. Scheduled for December 21, the contest will feature Florida International University (FIU) and Temple. Tropicana Field is the only home of this bowl game in in its history, stretching back to its launch as the St. Petersburg Bowl in 2008. The Miami-based FIU will play as the home team in this year’s contest, which is set to begin at 8:00 p.m. EST.
One week later, the Cactus Bowl will take place at Chase Field, with this year’s matchup featuring UCLA and Kansas State. The Cactus Bowl has been staged at several different venues in Arizona since it was established as the Copper Bowl in 1989, but Chase Field—home to the Arizona Diamondbacks—is hosting the game for third consecutive time, and its previous run as the game’s home lasted from 2000-2005. Kickoff for this year’s will take place on December 26 at 7:00 p.m. MST.
Rounding out the trio of Bowl Games at ballparks is Pinstripe Bowl, slated for Yankee Stadium on December 27. Boston College and Iowa have both accepted invitations to participate in the event, which is organized by the New York Yankees. The game has been played at Yankee Stadium since 2010, and this will mark the second trip overall for Boston College—tying it with Syracuse and Rutgers for the most appearances in the contest. This year’s Pinstripe Bowl will begin at 5:15 EST.
Image of Chase Field in football configuration courtesy Cactus Bowl.
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