Interesting Facts About College Bowl Games

College bowl game season is here, and WorldStrides OnStage will have 102 high school marching band and cheer groups performing in 7 different bowl game halftime shows this year – that’s 5,200 students! Bowl games have been part of American tradition for almost a century now, and we are lucky enough to get to be part of some of them (in a really entertaining way!)

Here are some interesting facts to kick off college bowl game season.

  • Sugar Bowl: The Sugar Bowl has been played in New Orleans every year since 1935 except for in 2006. The Big Easy was still recovering from Hurricane Katrina so the game was moved to Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.
  • Liberty Bowl: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee is dedicated to veterans who fought in both World Wars and the Korean War.
  • Cotton Bowl: Football AND rock n’ roll! In 1956, Elvis Presley performed to a record crowd at the Cotton Bowl – more than 25,000 people. Fun fact! Cotton Bowl Stadium has been featured in music videos from Poison, Journey and Aerosmith.
    Cotton Bowl Stadium
    Cotton Bowl Stadium
  • Rose Bowl: In 1902, the Valley Hunt Club hosted a matchup between the two best college football teams at that time from the East and the West – Michigan and Stanford. The point of the game was to draw attention to the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. Thus, the Rose Bowl, played on New Year’s Day, was born. The next bowl games did not come about until the 1930’s, when the Festival of Palms Bowl (later named the Orange Bowl), the Sugar Bowl, the Sun Bowl, the Bacardi Bowl, and the Cotton Bowl all commenced.
    First Bowl Game – Rose Bowl 1902
    First Bowl Game – Rose Bowl 1902
    Rose Bowl Stadium today
    Rose Bowl Stadium today
  • There are six major bowl games, known as the New Year’s Six, that determine the final college football national championship game Fiesta Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl.
  • Until the 1950’s, bowl games were all played on New Year’s Day. Today, the games are spread across several days. In 2019, the games will begin on December 15 and conclude on January 7 with the National Championship game.
  • The term “bowl” comes from the Rose Bowl Stadium which is shaped like, you guessed it – a bowl! This stadium is considered the prototype for many football stadiums around the country.

WorldStrides is proud to play a part in the rich history of America’s College Bowl Games year after year! Learn more about our Bowl Game and Parade Event Programs for high school marching bands and cheer/dance groups. In addition to the Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and the Liberty Bowl, our groups will be performing at the Camping World Bowl, the Alamo Bowl, the Holiday Bowl, and the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.

Article written by Ellen Sewell

Ellen Sewell
Ellen’s background is in digital marketing, and she has a passion for travel and experiencing new places. When she’s not scrolling behind the screen sourcing content, Ellen enjoys spending time with her husband, son and golden retriever.

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