As bowl season comes to a close the Celebration Bowl has held its own among bowl games — including several that featured multiple Power Five teams.
The 48,653 fans that showed up in Mercedes-Benz Stadium to watch South Carolina State upset a heavily-favored Jackson State team on Dec. 18 was a record for the game in its sixth edition. That number was less than 1,000 behind the Fiesta Bowl which featured Notre Dame and Oklahoma State.
The Celebration Bowl didn’t surpass any of the traditional big New Years Day Bowls, but it did beat several mid-tier games such as the Liberty Bowl, the Outback Bowl, the Duke’s Mayo Bowl and the Peach Bowl which all featured multiple Power Five teams.
The Liberty Bowl — held in Memphis — had 48,615 fans in attendance as the SEC’s Mississippi State battled Texas Tech of the Big 12 on Tuesday Dec. 28. The ACC’s Penn State against the SEC’s Arkansas drew 46,577. Another ACC-SEC clash — South Carolina vs. North Carolina in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl — had three thousand less fans than the Celebration Bowl despite the game being played on the border of the two states in a city with large alumni bases.
Here’s the bowl attendance through Jan. 2 with the Texas Bowl between LSU and Kansas State still to be played.
Rose Bowl — Utah vs Ohio State 87,842
Cotton Bowl Classic — Alabama vs Cincy 76,313
Music City Bowl — Tennessee vs Purdue 69,143
Orange Bowl — Georgia vs Michigan 66,839
Sugar Bowl — Baylor vs Ole Miss 66,479
Gasparilla Bowl — (Florida vs UCF) 63,669
Alamo Bowl — 59,121 Oregon vs Oklahoma (Capacity: 36,582)
Citrus Bowl — Iowa vs Kentucky 50,769
Fiesta Bowl — Oklahoma State vs Notre Dame 49,550
Celebration Bowl — 48,653
Liberty Bowl — Miss. State vs Texas Tech 48,615
Birmingham Bowl — Houston vs Auburn 47,100 (100 percent capacity)
Outback Bowl — Penn State vs Arkansas 46,577
Mayo Bowl — UNC vs South Carolina 45,520
Peach Bowl — at Mercedes-Benz (Pittsburgh vs Michigan State) 41,230
Cheeze It Bowl — Clemson vs Iowa State 39,051
Armed Forces Bowl — Army vs Missouri 34,888
Sun Bowl — Washington State vs Central Michigan 34,540