ORLANDO (SunBeltSports.org) - The Orlando Sports Foundation and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced Wednesday the creation of the Cure Bowl, a postseason college football game matching-up the Sun Belt Conference against the American Athletic Conference beginning in December 2015. The game will be played yearly at the newly renovated Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., the weekend before the Christmas holiday.
"The Sun Belt Conference and its member universities are very enthusiastic to be partnering with the Cure Bowl, the American Athletic Conference and the Orlando Sports Foundation," said Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson. "The growth and strength of the Sun Belt Conference continues as evidenced by this announcement. In addition to being an attractive bowl game and a positive step forward for the Sun Belt, the mission of the Cure Bowl is something that everyone should be able to get behind and support. We are honored to participate in an arrangement where a goal of the organization is to put an end to breast cancer."
While most NCAA bowl games make contributions to charity, few include the name of their cause in their title.
"The Cure Bowl is the first of its kind to combine the passions of college football with the importance of supporting breast cancer research," said Myra Biblowit, President & CEO of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation who took part in the announcement. "The funds raised through this exciting partnership will enable critical research investigations that are bringing us one step closer to finding the cure."
Alan Gooch, the Executive Director of the Orlando Sports Foundation and former player, coach and Hall of Fame Inductee at UCF will be the bowl's Executive Director. "The Orlando Sports Foundation is excited about the opportunity to provide the student-athletes of the American Athletic Conference and the Sun Belt Conference an opportunity to play in an NCAA postseason bowl here in Orlando and to give the Breast Cancer Research Foundation a national platform to fund cancer research at the highest level. Gooch and the Orlando Sports Foundation will provide management of the event and day-to-day operations of the bowl.
The Citrus Bowl is a 70,000 seat stadium that is undergoing major renovations and updates, including upgraded luxury suites, press box facility and locker rooms and other VIP hospitality accommodations.
The Cure Bowl will be the Sun Belt Conference's fourth primary postseason bowl game. The Cure Bowl is the second bowl game to join the Sun Belt's lineup in the past year (the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl was announced in August 2013) and the Sun Belt has grown from having just one primary bowl game from 2001 through 2010 to now having four primary postseason bowl game tie-ins.
In addition to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, the GoDaddy Bowl, the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl and the Cure Bowl, the Sun Belt Conference is also part of a coalition that will send teams to the Miami Beach Bowl and the Bahamas Bowl on a rotating basis.