No teams, no bowl game. TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl 2021 cancelled

TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl winners
Photo via TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl’s Facebook.

The annual TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl has been cancelled, according to a representative of the bowl organizing committee and Birmingham City Council President William Parker.

The bowl game was scheduled to be played on New Year’s Day matching up teams from the Southeastern Conference and American Athletic Conference. 

In a comment to the Associated Press, Mark Meadows, executive director of theTicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl, cited the number of teams opting out of the bowl season because of COVID-19 as the reason for calling off the game.

“As the inventory of available teams lessened, our ability to stage the game was compromised,” Meadows said. 

City of Birmingham’s Response

William Parker
Birmingham City Council President William Parker talking about the cancellation of the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl. Screenshot of the December 20, 2020 news conference on the Birmingham City Council Facebook page

In a late afternoon news conference, Council President Parker held a news conference about the cancelation and the bowl game’s future.

“I’m looking forward to next year with an even better Birmingham Bowl and the great partnership we have with the host committee and ESPN. It is a sad day, but also understanding what we are dealing with as a country, as a world, this is just one of the effects of COVID-19…this is one of the casualties of COVID-19.”

William Parker

Last Game at Legion Field?

Legion Field Birmingham
Legendary Legion Field, home of the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Was this the last bowl game at Legion Field?  Parker said it will be up to negotiations between the city, ESPN and the bowl stakeholders.

“There is a new stadium coming on. There will be a new contract next year. Those questions and conversations  will be ongoing into the Spring of next year.”

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, UAB’s last home game at the legendary stadium was also cancelled. 

IMG 1411 No teams, no bowl game. TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl 2021 cancelled
2019 Magic City Classic. Alabama A&M University Marching Band spelling out Cup Cake in memory of Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Parker reminded everyone the next big football game is the annual Magic City Classic between Alabama State University and Alabama A&M on April 17th. In 2018, Birmingham and the universities signed an agreement to play at Legion Field till 2022.


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Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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