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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.[3]

Gasparilla Bowl
Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
Bad Boy Movers Gasparilla Bowl logo.svg
StadiumRaymond James Stadium
LocationTampa, Florida
Previous stadiumsTropicana Field
Previous locationsSt. Petersburg, Florida
Conference tie-insAmerican, ACC, C-USA
Alternates: MAC, Sun Belt
magicJack (2008)
Beef O'Brady's (2009–2013)
BitPay (2014)
Bad Boy Mowers (2017–present)
Former names
magicJack Bowl (2008)
St. Petersburg Bowl presented by Beef O'Brady's (2009)
Beef O'Brady's Bowl (2010–2013)
Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl (2014)
St. Petersburg Bowl (2015–2016)
2018 matchup
South Florida vs. Marshall (Marshall 38–20)
2019 matchup
TBD vs. TBD[2] (December 23, 2019)

Since 2017, the game has been sponsored by Bad Boy Mowers and officially known as Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.[4] 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.[5]

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. This arrangement continues through the 2025–26 football season,[citation needed] with the exception that the Southeastern Conference (SEC) will also be among the potential conferences a team can be chosen from. Previously, the 2016 edition of the game featured an SEC team, Mississippi State.


The Gasparilla Bowl is the third college bowl game to be played in the Tampa Bay area; the Outback Bowl has been held in Tampa since 1986 and the Cigar Bowl was played from 1947 to 1954.

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.[6] On November 25, 2008, ESPN Regional Television, the game's owner, announced a one-year title sponsorship agreement with magicJack.[7]

The inaugural magicJack Bowl 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.

magicJack did not renew its sponsorship, and the UCF Knights and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights met in the St. Petersburg Bowl Presented by Beef O'Brady's in December 2009 after the restaurant chain obtained a title sponsorship.[8] In the second St. Petersburg Bowl Presented by Beef O'Brady's, 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.[9] After falling behind 14–0 and 21–7, Louisville came back to win their sixth contest in a row against Southern Miss, 31–28[10]

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.[11] 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.[12][13] On April 2, 2015, after one year of sponsorship, BitPay declined to renew sponsorship of the game, and it was again called the St. Petersburg Bowl for the next two years.[14]

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 Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl after Tampa's Gasparilla Pirate Festival.[15]


Tropicana Field
Raymond James Stadium

The bowl has utilized two venues; Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg for its first 10 editions, and Raymond James Stadium in nearby Tampa starting with the 11th playing, in December 2018.

Since Tropicana Field is the home field of the Tampa Bay Rays and was designed for baseball, the football gridiron was arranged along the right field line, from home plate to the foul pole. At the time it was last played at Tropicana Field, the bowl was one of three to take place in a stadium used predominantly for baseball, the others two being the Cactus Bowl, played at Chase Field in Phoenix, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, home of the New York Yankees. The Fight Hunger Bowl was played at AT&T Park in San Francisco, home of the San Francisco Giants, but moved to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, home of the San Francisco 49ers, in 2014. The Miami Beach Bowl was played at Marlins Park in Miami, home of the Miami Marlins, but moved to Toyota Stadium, home to FC Dallas of Major League Soccer, to become the Frisco Bowl in 2017.

In May 2018, bowl organizers announced that the bowl would be moving from Tropicana Field to Raymond James Stadium.[3]

Game resultsEdit

Date Bowl name Winning Team Losing Team Attendance
December 20, 2008 St. Petersburg Bowl South Florida 41 Memphis 14 25,205
December 19, 2009 St. Petersburg Bowl Rutgers 45 UCF 24 28,793
December 21, 2010 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl Louisville 31 Southern Miss 28 20,017
December 20, 2011 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl Marshall 20 FIU 10 20,072
December 21, 2012 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl UCF 38 Ball State 17 21,759
December 23, 2013 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl East Carolina 37 Ohio 20 20,053
December 26, 2014 St. Petersburg Bowl NC State 34 UCF 27 26,675
December 26, 2015 St. Petersburg Bowl Marshall 16 Connecticut 10 14,652
December 26, 2016 St. Petersburg Bowl Mississippi State 17 Miami (OH) 16 15,717
December 21, 2017 Gasparilla Bowl Temple 28 FIU 3 16,363
December 20, 2018 Gasparilla Bowl Marshall 38 South Florida 20 14,135


From 2008 through 2016, an MVP was selected from each team; since 2017, a single game MVP is named.

Year Winning team MVP Losing team MVP
Player Team Position Player Team Position
2008 Matt Grothe South Florida QB Duke Calhoun Memphis WR
2009 Mohamed Sanu Rutgers WR Kamar Aiken UCF WR
2010 Jeremy Wright Louisville RB Austin Davis Southern Miss QB
2011 Aaron Dobson Marshall WR T. Y. Hilton FIU WR
2012 Blake Bortles UCF QB Jahwan Edwards Ball State RB
2013 Vintavious Cooper East Carolina RB Donte Foster Ohio WR
2014 Jacoby Brissett NC State QB Josh Reese UCF WR
2015 Deandre Reaves Marshall WR Bobby Puyol Connecticut K
2016 Nick Fitzgerald Mississippi State QB Gus Ragland Miami (OH) QB
2017 Frank Nutile Temple QB
2018 Keion Davis Marshall RB

Source: [16]

Most appearancesEdit

Updated through the December 2018 edition (11 games, 22 total appearances).

Teams with multiple appearances
Rank Team Appearances Record
T1 Marshall 3 3–0
T1 UCF 3 1–2
T3 South Florida 2 1–1
T3 FIU 2 0–2
Teams with a single appearance

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

Appearances by conferenceEdit

Updated through the December 2018 edition (11 games, 22 total appearances).

Conference Record Appearances by season
Games W L Win pct. Won Lost
C-USA 9 5 4 0.556 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018 2008, 2009, 2010, 2017
The American 7 4 3 0.571 2008, 2009, 2010, 2017 2014, 2015, 2018
MAC 3 0 3 0.000   2012, 2013, 2016
ACC 1 1 0 1.000 2014  
SEC 1 1 0 1.000 2016  
Sun Belt 1 0 1 0.000   2011
  • The American record includes appearances of the Big East Conference, as The American retains the charter of the original Big East, following its 2013 realignment. Teams representing the Big East appeared in three games, compiling a 3–0 record.
  • UCF has appeared as a member of C-USA (2009 and 2012) and The American (2014).

Game recordsEdit

Team Performance, Team vs. Opponent Year
Most points scored (one team) 45, Rutgers vs. UCF 2009
Most points scored (both teams) 69, Rutgers vs. UCF 2009
Most points scored (losing team) 28, Southern Miss vs. Louisville 2010
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
Fewest yards allowed 213, Marshall vs. Connecticut 2015
Fewest rushing yards allowed 35, Rutgers vs. UCF 2009
Fewest passing yards allowed 86, Marshall vs. Connecticut 2015
Individual Player, Team vs. Opponent Year
Points scored 18, shared by:
Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers vs. UCF
Latavius Murray, UCF vs. Ball State
Josh Reese, UCF vs. NC State
Passing touchdowns 3, Matt Grothe, South Florida vs. Memphis 2008
Rushing yards 198, Vintavious Cooper, East Carolina vs. Ohio 2013
Passing yards 294, Tom Savage, Rutgers vs. UCF 2009
Receiving Yards 165, Randall St. Felix, Marshall vs. South Florida 2018
All-purpose yards 220, Vintavious Cooper, East Carolina vs. Ohio 2013
Touchdowns (overall) 3, shared by Sanu, Murray, Reese (above)
Rushing touchdowns 2, multiple times—most recent:
Keion Davis, Marshall vs. South Florida
Receiving touchdowns 3, Josh Reese, UCF vs. NC State 2014
Tackles 14, shared by:
Andrew Adams, Connecticut vs. Marshall[17]
Greg Reaves, South Florida vs. Marshall[18]
Long Plays Player, Record, Team vs. Opponent Year
Touchdown run 62, Desmond Johnson, Southern Miss vs. Louisville 2010
Touchdown pass 80, Donte Foster, Ohio vs. East Carolina 2013
Kickoff return 95, Jeremy Wright, Louisville vs. Southern Miss 2010
Punt return 39, Andre Snipes-Booker, Marshall vs. FIU 2011
Interception return 36, Josh Jones, NC State vs. UCF 2014
Fumble return
Punt 61, Tyler Williams, Marshall vs. Connecticut 2015
Field goal 52, Bobby Puyol, Connecticut vs. Marshall 2015
Miscellaneous Record, Team vs. Team Year
Attendance 28,793 at Rutgers vs. UCF 2009

Media coverageEdit

The bowl has been televised on ESPN since its inception.


  1. ^ "College Football".
  2. ^ "ESPN Events Reveals 2019-20 Bowl Season Slate". ESPN (Press release). May 23, 2019. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Gasparilla Bowl leaving St. Petersburg after 10 years". 10NEWS. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "'O' No! Beef 'O' Brady's to drop sponsorship of local bowl game". Tampa Bay Business Journal.
  6. ^ NCAA committee approves 34 football bowl games The Associated Press, April 30, 2008. Accessed April 30, 2008.
  7. ^ "No longer St. Pete Bowl" Archived 2012-09-14 at from Tampa Tribune, 2008-11-25, retrieved 2008-12-02
  8. ^ *"Beef O Brady's Sponsorship Press Release" 2009-12-09, retrieved 2009-12-13 Archived 2009-12-14 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Golden Eagles to Face Louisville in Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl" 2010-12-05, retrieved 2010-12-05
  10. ^ "Louisville holds on for 31-28 win over Southern Miss in Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl". Tampa Bay Times.
  11. ^ "'O' No! Beef 'O' Brady's to drop sponsorship of local bowl game". Tampa Bay Business Journal.
  12. ^ Wilkerson, Chris (August 22, 2014). "BitPay exec: We paid ESPN for our sponsorship in bitcoin". Tampa Bay Business Journal.
  13. ^ "BitPay to Sponsor St. Petersburg Bowl in First Major Bitcoin Sports Deal". Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  14. ^ "Bitcoin backer BitPay dumps St. Pete Bowl sponsorship". Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "Game Facts and History". Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  17. ^
  18. ^

External linksEdit