Written by John McElwain
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 11:07
The Sun Belt Conference and the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl announced
today that the conference will continue to have a team play in the annual bowl game through the 2019 season. The announcement was made by SBC Commissioner Karl Benson and bowl CEO Jay Cicero.
“The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl has been home to a Sun Belt representative since day one of the bowl game and we are proud to be able to extend this relationship with the bowl game, the city of New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation,” said SBC Commissioner Karl Benson. “The Sun Belt Conference has a firm investment in the city of New Orleans with our headquarters, basketball championship and a marquee bowl game because we know that our fans, administrators and student-athletes enjoy the New Orleans experience and will continue to travel here. While the Sun Belt has grown tremendously and has improved each year since the first New Orleans Bowl, our relationship with this game is as valuable as ever.”
The SBC and the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl have a long history together as the SBC has been partnered with the bowl game since its inception in 2001. The SBC holds a 7-5 all-time record in the game and has won four consecutive R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl games. This past year Louisiana-Lafayette won its second consecutive R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl with a 43-34 victory over Conference USA’s East Carolina in front of a record crowd of 48,828 inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The announcement of a continued partnership between the two parties will result in a Sun Belt Conference team playing in the annual bowl game for an additional six seasons beginning with the 2014 edition of the game. Conference USA will continue to provide an opponent for the R+L Carries New Orleans Bowl. The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl will be granted first selection of a bowl eligible Sun Belt team each season. The Sun Belt Conference maintains a tie-in with the GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Ala. and the recently announced Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. will be the home of a Sun Belt team beginning in the 2014 season.
"We are thrilled to have the Sun Belt Conference and Conference USA extend their contracts with our game,” said Executive Director of the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Billy Ferrante. “This showcases the growth that the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl has had over the past 12 years, and we look forward to the next six years of working with these two conferences to create a one of a kind experience for the student-athletes, coaches and university administrations."
In addition to being partnered with the R+L Carries New Orleans Bowl, the Sun Belt Conference has a long history with the city of New Orleans. In the summer of 2013 the league moved its headquarters into Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The SBC originally moved into the New Orleans metropolitan area in 1991 when the office relocated from Tampa to the Galleria in Metairie in 1991. The league offices relocated to downtown New Orleans in the Pan American Building in 2000 and was headquartered there until June 2013.
Come March 2014 the Sun Belt Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships will also call New Orleans home. Lakefront Arena will play host to the two coinciding tournaments March 12-16. The Sun Belt announced last February that New Orleans would be the site of the tournaments for the next three years.
The Sun Belt Conference also previously announced that its Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships will be held at New Orleans’ City Park for the next two years.