The 2020-21 college football post season just got a bit shorter.
Officials with the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl announced Tuesday that the game will not take place this year. According to information provided to the media, the cancellation happened as a result of COVID-19 restrictions enacted in the Southern Methodist University (SMU) football program.
As a result of the game’s cancellation, SMU’s planned opponent, the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) will now play in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl. The game is scheduled to take place at 3:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 26 on ABC. UTSA’s opponent for the game will be announced in the coming days.
Clint Overby, Vide President of ESPN Events, shared disappointment at the announcement, and offered consolation to audiences and fans in a prepared statement.
“While we are disappointed in having to cancel the game, our top priority is the health and safety of all parties involved,” said Overby. “We wish SMU, their student-athletes, coaches and administrators well during this time.”
Fans who bought tickets for the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl will receive full refunds automatically. Refunds could take as much as five business days to receive.
Tuesday’s announcement is the second this month involving cancellation of one of this season’s bowl schedule. The cancellation of the Las Vegas Bowl was announced early this month due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The game was scheduled to be the first college football bowl game to ever take place in the recently constructed Allegiant Stadium, which is the home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. It was set to feature a matchup of teams from the Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference (SEC).
Las Vegas Bowl Executive Director John Saccenti was quoted at the time as saying he hoped the bowl would be able to be played next season.
“Unfortunately we will have to wait another year to present the Las Vegas Bowl in its new home,” said Saccenti. “This was a difficult decision but the right one considering that our game was founded nearly three decades ago to help drive tourism to the Entertainment Capital of the World during the month of December. We are looking forward to making our bowl week bigger and better than ever in 2021.”
Larry Scott, Pac-12 Commissioner shared Saccenti’s hopes for next year’s Las Vegas Bowl in his own comments.
“The Pac-12 is disappointed for our teams and fans that the Las Vegas Bowl has been forced to cancel this year’s game,” said Scott. “We look forward to next year’s game, which promises to be a fantastic national stage in one of the world’s best football stadiums, to showcase Pac-12 football.”
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey also expressed his disappointment at the announcement.
“We are disappointed the Las Vegas Bowl has been cancelled for the 2020 football season and will miss the opportunity for SEC student-athletes to experience an exciting new venue,” said Sankey. “We have no doubt the Las Vegas Bowl will be a great part of the future SEC bowl lineup and look forward to our partnership in the years ahead.”
The 2019 Las Vegas Bowl featured a matchup of the Washington Huskies and then No. 19 Boise State Broncos at Sam Boyd Stadium. Washington won the game 38-7.
The Las Vegas Bowl and Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl are two of 17 total bowl games that are owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.
The cancellation of the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl is now the 12th so far this year for the college football post season. The other 11 bowls, including the Las Vegas Bowl, cancelled are listed below.
- Bahamas Bowl (C-USA vs. MAC)
- Celebration Bowl (MEAC vs. SWAC)
- Fenway Bowl (AAC vs. ACC)
- Hawaii Bowl (AAC vs. Mountain West)
- Holiday Bowl (ACC vs. Pac-12)
- Las Vegas Bowl (Pac-12 vs. SEC)
- Los Angeles Bowl (Pac-12 vs. Mountain West)
- Pinstripe Bowl (ACC vs. Big Ten)
- Quick Lane Bowl (ACC, Big Ten, MAC)
- Redbox Bowl (Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
- Sun Bowl (ACC vs. Pac-12)
More information on the ESPN networks’ college football coverage is available online along with all of the latest college football news at:
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