Stacking up the Celebration Bowl and the Peach Bowl

This year, Atlanta college football fans get not one, but two showdowns
Celebration Bowl Peach Bowl
Illustration by Natalie K. Nelson; Georgia Dome: Gene Phillips/

This December, Christmas comes twice for Atlanta college football fans, when the Georgia Dome hosts two bowl games: the annual New Year’s Eve Peach Bowl and first-ever Celebration Bowl, a matchup between the respective champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Here’s how the two games go head-to-head.

Celebration Bowl
(MEAC vs. SWAC – This year: North Carolina A&T vs. Alcorn State )
When Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015
Sponsor Air Force Reserve. The game is also managed by 100 Black Men of Atlanta, a service organization dedicated to empowering black youths
Inaugural game 2015
Watch it on ABC
Payout $2 million ($1M per participating conference)
Anticipated attendance TBD (it’s the first year, after all)
Most unusual eligible mascot The Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State (SWAC)
Coolest ancillary event 5th Quarter. After the game, the crowd sticks around for an encore from each school’s marching band—often a bigger attraction than the game itself.

Peach Bowl
(At-large bids from Group of Five conferences plus playoffs – This year: Houston vs. Florida State)
When Saturday, Dec. 31, 2015
Sponsor Chick-fil-A, a corporation dedicated to bombarding you with cow commercials six days a week
Inaugural game 1968
Watch it on ESPN
Payout $8 million ($4M per participating conference)
Anticipated attendance 71,000
Most unusual eligible mascot Horned Frogs of Texas Christian University (Big 12)
Coolest ancillary event Chalk Talk and Football Feud. Before the game, players from the two teams face off in a Family Feud–style quiz show for bragging rights, as the opposing coaches talk shop.

This article originally appeared in our December 2015 issue.