Destination to receive ‘unprecedented exposure’

The Eastern Michigan Eagles and the Old Dominion Monarchs will make history when the college football teams face off in the highly anticipated Popeyes Bahamas Bowl on December 23, the teams’ coaches said on Friday.

Both football teams accepted a bid to play in the bowl game that will be held at the Thomas A Robinson Stadium in Nassau.

Chris Creighton, head coach for Eastern Michigan University said his team couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to play in the increasingly popular game. The last time the Eagles played in a bowl game was nearly three decades ago.

“Nineteen eighty-seven was a long time ago,” Creighton said referring to the Eagles last bowl appearance. “I was a senior in high school. I had dark brown hair. For 29 years… Eastern Michigan has been turning on the television and watching other teams play in a bowl game; for 29 years. So when I say we are grateful, we are grateful for all of it, every experience and opportunity that we are going to have on this trip.”

It was only this week when the Eagles coaching staff revealed to the players that they would be traveling to The Bahamas to play. Creighton said their reaction was priceless.

“Our guys got bruises on the tops of their heads when we showed them The Bahamas and the picture of Atlantis,” Creighton said during a press conference yesterday at the Atlantis Resort. “Our guys went crazy. It’s one thing to be able to go to a bowl game, but to go to one in The Bahamas, it was a phenomenal celebration. And for a team, that for 29 years didn’t have a whole lot to celebrate, you can imagine the excitement and the authentic genuine excitement and gratitude.”

A video clip, posted to You Tube, captured the Eagles cheering wildly after the destination of the bowl game was revealed.

A similar celebration occurred in Old Dominion’s locker room, when the 114- member team received the good news.

Bobby Wilder, head coach of Old Dominion University’s football team, said this is an opportunity for his team to live their dream.

“This game is history for both teams and that’s exciting too,” he said.

This will be the first time that Old Dominion will participate in a bowl game.

Wilder said he’s hoping to bring thousands of fans down to watch the historic game.

“We’ve only had 54 homes games in the history in Old Dominion football and all 54 have been sell-outs,” Wilder said. “We are proud to say we’re the only team in the history of college football who have sold out every home game that we have ever played in. And we are going to try and bring them all with us. Every one of those 21,000 people here at this game.

Ministry of Tourism Senior Director Carla Stuart highlighted the economic benefits that will be generated by the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl. She said over 400 players, coaches and support staff are coming down for the event, not including the fans that will travel with each team.

The game, which will begin at 1 p.m. at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, will be carried live on ESPN.

Popeyes Bahamas Bowl Executive Lea Miller said the game will result in “unprecedented exposure” for The Bahamas.

“No other country in the Caribbean can touch this,” she added.

Tickets can be purchased at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium’s box office or online at NSA-Bahamas.com for $10 to $40.

Media Contact: Krystel Brown | Krbrown@bahamas.com | (242) 397-2793