Entering its 15th year, the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl has become a December holiday tradition for both local families and out-of-town visitors.
“Each year, a week jam-packed with family fun and community events culminates in a premier postseason matchup on the gridiron,” said Scott Glaser, executive director of the Gasparilla Bowl. “It is the official kickoff for Gasparilla season.”
The Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl will be played at Raymond James Stadium on Friday, December 22 at 6:30 p.m. Owned and operated by ESPN Events, the game will air on ESPN and welcome two teams from among the Southeastern Conference (SEC), Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), American Athletic Conference (AAC), Big 12, Conference USA, Mid-American Conference (MAC), Mountain West, Pacific 12 Conference (Pac-12) and independent programs, Brigham Young University and Army.
“We’re thrilled to announce the return of the Gasparilla Bowl, which has become a beloved tradition for football fans here in Tampa,” said Glaser. “We’re looking forward to another fantastic year of thrilling competition and exciting moments on and off the field for the student athletes, coaches and fans.”
This year’s game will be the only game to play on December 22, so all eyes will be on Tampa Bay.
“We’re hoping to match or exceed last year’s viewership of more than 3 million which was the number one rated pre-Christmas bowl in the country,” Glaser said.
The game was the top program during its telecast window and ranked in the top five in viewership among all non-New Year’s six bowls. A highlight for both visiting teams and college football fans, the 2023 edition of the bowl will once again feature a coveted time slot and will be the only game played that night.
With the game occurring during Christmas week, local businesses and fan groups have a unique opportunity to host holiday parties or family gatherings, including pregame tailgates and stadium seating options. “Our hopes for this year is to field two great college programs that bring their competitive edge to Raymond James Stadium for the fans,” Glaser said.
Tickets will go on sale to the general public in December.
“We encourage everyone to join the invasion and secure exclusive first access to the best seats by signing up for the bowl’s presale at www.gasparillabowl.com,” Glaser said.