Popeyes Bahamas Bowl Draws Hundreds To The Bahamas

The second Popeyes Bahamas Bowl is expected to draw hundreds of visiting fans to The Bahamas, as the game is played live on ESPN on December 24.

The game is expected to be an exciting football showdown between the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders and the Western Michigan State Broncos.

Rick Stockstill, head football coach of Middle Tennessee, said this game is particularly special for the team because the school’s president, Sidney McPhee, is Bahamian.

“Our president is here from The Bahamas and it is great honor to be able to represent him, especially here in The Bahamas. It’s a little bit colder in Tennessee and so they are excited. Most of them have never been here,” he said.

Middle Tennessee State is coming with 105 players, 25 support staff and their families.

“We will probably be pushing 300 for our group,” Stockstill said.

“It’s a great opportunity not only for our university, not only for our football players but to market and publicize the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl. Everybody is a college football fan, especially this time of the year and when they turn on ESPN they are only going to see us. So it is a wonderful opportunity for our players and our university to showcase our team and our university.”

Stockstill said many team coaches would rather be in his shoes.

“I’ve gotten a lot of calls from my buddies saying that they want to trade places,” he said.

“Many of them would rather come here and me go to their bowl. This is a special bowl and special people are putting this together. It’s an honour that we don’t take likely and that we are extremely excited about and so I have a lot of jealous buddies right now that wish they were here instead of me.”

Philip Fleck, head football coach of the Broncos, said the team is excited to The Bahamas with their many fans.

“There’s going to be hundreds and hundreds people coming down here and we are really looking forward to it. It is a very unique opportunity to be able to spend Christmas in a place like The Bahamas. We’re going to bring hundreds and hundreds of people and it is going to be a lot of fun. People have already made their plans and there have been a lot of rush passports ordered,” he said.

“National coverage is priceless and you can’t get that kind of coverage anywhere else. Eleven million people watched last year; that’s not just 11 million people watching the game, but 11 million people watched your university.  I’m so happy that the ESPN and the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl committee selected us and we look forward to represent Central Michigan.”

Last year, the inaugural Popeyes Bahamas Bowl locked in 11 million views on ESPN, 401 news segments and 1,587 news articles were written about the game.

The Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers of Conference USA of Central American Conference (CAC) Chippewas of Middle-American Conference (MAC) played the game. 

In the end, the Hilltoppers were victorious.  The game easily became one of the most famous NCAA football games for 2014 and was nominated for an ESPY.  

Media Contact: Kendea Smith | ksmith@bahamas.com | 242-397-2786