Florida A&M Wins SWAC Football Championship, Punches Ticket to Cricket Celebration Bowl For The First Time

ATLANTA – Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) college football champion Florida A&M University has received an invitation to play in the eighth annual Cricket Celebration Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 16, at noon ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The Rattlers defeated the Prairie View A&M University Panthers 35-14 to earn FAMU’s first-ever appearance in the bowl, where they will play the MEAC champion Howard Bison in the nationally televised game on ABC.

Cricket Celebration Bowl Executive Director John Grant was on-site at the SWAC Championship in Tallahassee. Florida, on Saturday to present Florida A&M Head Coach Willie Simmons with the official invitation.

“Congratulations to SWAC champion Florida A&M University for earning their first trip to the Cricket Celebration Bowl,” said Grant. “FAMU, led by Coach Simmons, had a wonderful season. We are excited for the Rattlers to join us in this championship matchup against the MEAC champion Howard University Bison.

Entering its eighth year, the Cricket Celebration Bowl has established itself as a premier bowl game, celebrating the heritage, legacy, pageantry, and tradition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The championship game between the MEAC and SWAC champions is televised on ABC.  ESPN Events collaborates with its sponsors, the Divine Nine Greek organizations, and the Atlanta HBCU Alumni Alliance to schedule the game’s ancillary events, which includes a fan experience, community service projects, and more. This year’s weekend festivities will also include the inaugural Band of the Year National Championship.

Since its debut in 2015, the Celebration Bowl is the only Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision bowl game. It serves as the annual HBCU national championship game between the MEAC and SWAC conferences.


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

2020 Did not play due to Covid pandemic

2021 South Carolina State def. Jackson State, 31-10

2022 North Carolina Central def. Jackson State 41-34

Fans can purchase tickets to the Cricket Celebration Bowl online at thecelebrationbowl.com or ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. A full list of events surrounding the game are available on the event’s website.

For MEAC fans, a special rate is being offered at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and is available for December 16-17.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

For SWAC fans, a special rate is being offered at the Hilton Atlanta, and is available for December 16-17. Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

Additional hotel rooms are available on the event website. Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

ESPN Events 

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of collegiate sporting events nationwide. In 2023, the 33-event schedule includes four early-season college football kickoff games, 17 college bowl games, nine college basketball events, a college softball event and the inaugural Band of the Year National Championship, in addition to a new college gymnastics event coming in 2024. Collectively, these events account for over 400 hours of live programming on ESPN platforms, while reaching 60 million viewers and attracting more than 650,000 annual attendees. Each year, the portfolio of events features more than 20 Division I conferences and hosts over 4,000 participating student-athletes. With satellite offices in more than 10 cities across the country, 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 website, Facebook, X/Twitter or YouTube pages.

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