Allstate Sugar Bowl
January 1, 2015
It’s one of the top college football bowl games in the nation and it happens right here in New Orleans. It’s the 81st annual Allstate Sugar Bowl and it will be played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on New Year’s Day. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Central Standard Time.
Under a new format, starting this season, the top four college football teams – chosen by a 13-member, nationwide selection committee - will face off in head-to-head, post-season semifinals competition for the one of the top two slots. Then the top two teams will play each other in the finals for the distinction of finishing their season with the nation’s #1 ranking.
The announcement of the four semifinalists, including the two teams competing in the Sugar Bowl, will be made in early December. Tickets to the game will go on sale concurrently and early purchase is strongly advised.
This latest development in postseason finalists’ bowl selection will fix the date of the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day (January 1) every year unless the date falls on a Sunday. The Sugar Bowl was also designated to host the semifinals in 2018, 2021and 2024. On all of the other years the bowl game will pit the winner of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) against the winner of the Big 12 Conference.
The selection committee makes its choices of the four playoff teams based on those teams’ body of work, the strength of their schedules, head-to-head results (where applicable), comparison of results against common opponents, championships won and other key factors. Former New Orleans Saints quarterback and Ole Miss All-American, Archie Manning, is one of the committee’s 13 members.
Allstate Sugar Bowl Fan Fest
While the Sugar Bowl game is the culmination of the New Year’s Eve festivities in New Orleans, there are other noteworthy events going on concurrently, including a two-day Fan Fest. Held on the grounds of the Jax Brewery, adjacent to the French Quarter on Decatur Street, the Fan Fest will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 30 and 31 from 12:00 noon-7:00 p.m. both days.
Admission is free.
Fans of the participating Allstate Sugar Bowl teams can show off their school spirit during high- energy pep rallies, featuring marching bands, mascots and cheerleaders for the participating teams the day before the game, along with other football-themed activities.
The fest also offers free musical performances by some of today's most celebrated bands. Previous headliners have included Huey Lewis & The News, Cee-Lo Green, Kelly Clarkson, The Neville Brothers, Darius Rucker, Eddie Money, Gin Blossoms, Lady Antebellum and others. Last year’s headliners were the Grammy Award-winning Imagine Dragons (“Radioactive”).
Other Sugar Bowl-related events may be scheduled as well. Check local listings as the date gets closer.
Win Two Free Tickets to the 2015 Allstate Sugar Bowl
The Allstate Sugar Bowl will be giving away two free tickets to the 2015 game. One lucky winner will be chosen in a random drawing that will end on Thursday, December 11. An Allstate Sugar Bowl representative will notify the winner.
Fans can sign up at the official website of the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Sugar Bowl History
As the second-oldest bowl game in the nation (preceded only by the Rose Bowl), the Sugar Bowl has a history as colorful as its name. Over the course of its 81-year history, it has established itself as one of the premier bowl games in the nation, having hosted 23 national champions, 86 Hall of Fame players, 46 Hall of Fame coaches and 15 Heisman Trophy winners.
Many of intercollegiate football’s most memorable moments have taken place during the game, both in the Superdome and at its previous home in Tulane University Stadium. Especially memorable was Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon’s dramatic, 9-yard scoring pass to Mickey Mangham in the 1959 game that gave LSU its first national title.
The idea for a New Year's Day football game was originally presented by Colonel James M. Thomson, publisher for the New Orleans Item, and sports editor Fred Digby in 1927. By 1935, enough support had been received for the idea that the Sugar Bowl was born and played annually in New Orleans every year since with the exception of in 2006. That year the game was played in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome due to the extensive damage received to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome from Hurricane Katrina.
The game was originally played in Tulane Stadium until the stadium was demolished in 1975.
In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee is involved with various community initiatives in New Orleans through hosting and sponsorships of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors over 13,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2 billion into the local economy in the last decade.
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome fills up fast for every Sugar Bowl, especially when there is a favorite local team playing. Early ticket purchase is very strongly advised.
Tickets can be found on Ticketmaster or at any NFL/Ticketmaster-approved website for purchasing tickets that other buyers have canceled.
Also, if you’re planning to stay in town for a day or a few days prior to the Sugar Bowl, early accommodation reservations are very strongly advised. Hotels in New Orleans are usually at capacity for New Year’s Eve and the Sugar Bowl game that immediately follows on New Year’s Day.
However, if you can't manage to find a ticket to the game, you can still plan to come to New Orleans, root for your favorite team and join in the pre- and post-game festivities. You can also catch the Sugar Bowl from a great seat from one of New Orleans' many sports bars. It’s almost as good as being at the game itself, especially if fellow fans of your home team surround you.
For more information, call (504) 828-2440 or visit www.allstatesugarbowl.com.
NOTE: If you're planning to stay in town over the preceding weekend, early hotel reservations are very strongly advised. Hotels in New Orleans are usually at capacity for New Year's Eve and the bowl game that immediately follows. However, if you can't manage to find a ticket to the game, you can still plan to come to New Orleans, root for your favorite team and join in the after-game festivities. Catch the Sugar Bowl from a great seat from one of New Orleans' many sports bars.