CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Charlotte Sports Foundation announced Wednesday that Belk will end its run as the title sponsor of Charlotte’s annual college football bowl game after the 2019 Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium.
Officials say the foundation is actively speaking with potential title sponsors for 2020 and beyond. In addition to the annual bowl game, the sponsorship also includes the season-opening college kickoff game, which will feature Notre Dame and Wake Forest in 2020.
“Belk has been an exceptional partner for Charlotte’s holiday bowl game since signing on to sponsor the first Belk Bowl in 2011,” said Danny Morrison, executive director of the Charlotte Sports Foundation. “This bowl has become a great Charlotte sports tradition that has a significant economic impact on the Charlotte region, and we could not have achieved the success we have enjoyed without Belk’s commitment and the support of our other community partners.”
In a press release, officials said the bowl game has provided a welcoming experience for visiting teams, with players enjoying holiday shopping sprees at Belk, taking laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway, packing bags of food for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, visiting patients at Levine Children’s Hospital and other community service events.
“We are extremely grateful for our partnership with the Charlotte Sports Foundation and the opportunity to be the title sponsor for the Belk Bowl over the past nine years,” said Lisa Harper, Chief Executive Officer of Belk. “They are a first-class organization and have made the Belk Bowl a staple event for Charlotte. Belk is proud to have been part of this tradition.”
Over its tenure as an ACC-SEC matchup, the Belk Bowl’s average viewership has ranked in the top five TV audiences for a non-playoff college bowl game.
Moving forward over the next six years, the Charlotte bowl game will pit the ACC against a Big Ten opponent in 2020, 2022 and 2024, with an ACC team meeting an SEC team in the odd-numbered years of 2021, 2023 and 2025.
“With the expansion of our ties to the strongest conferences in college football, the future of our bowl has never looked brighter,” said Morrison. “Dating back to 2002, the Charlotte bowl game has historically been in the top tier of all bowls from an attendance and ratings standpoint, and we are excited about working with a new title sponsor as we continue to elevate the game on the field and the fan experience surrounding the event.”
The matchup for the 2019 Belk Bowl will be announced Dec. 8. The game kicks off at noon Dec. 31 and will be televised on ESPN.