2014 Miami Beach Bowl: Memphis 55, BYU 48 (2OT)
2015 Miami Beach Bowl: Western Kentucky 45, USF 35
The Miami Beach Bowl was introduced by the American Athletic Conference in October 2013, a groundbreaking announcement that brought postseason college football back to Miami. The game established contractual agreements with hotels on Miami Beach to house the teams, cheerleaders, bands, media and visiting fans, and hosts the majority of Bowl Week events at Miami Beach venues.
The game itself is played at Marlins Park, which opened in 2012 and serves as the home of Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins. The state-of-the-art facility seats 34,000 for football and has 50 luxury suites, a retractable roof, climate controlled temperatures and a pristine natural grass playing surface. The Miami Beach Bowl has a long-term contract to broadcast the game nationally on ESPN.
The 2014 game was played on Dec. 22. The inaugural game featuring Memphis and BYU was a double-overtime thriller with the Tigers winning 55-48. The game earned a top 25 spot on ESPN’s College football games of the year list and received multiple replays on the network showcasing the exciting action and dramatic finish.
The 2015 game was played on Dec. 21 and was ranked No. 4 by media among the 40 bowl games of the 2015 season as Western Kentucky and USF combined for 80 points. The No. 25-ranked Hilltoppers prevailed, 45-35, behind 461 yards and three touchdowns by quarterback (and Bowl MVP) Brandon Doughty.
The first two Miami Beach Bowl MVP selections – Paxton Lynch and Doughty – were chosen in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins, respectively.
The 2016 game will feature teams from the American Athletic Conference and Mid-American Conference, and is set for Monday, Dec. 19 at Marlins Park.
The Miami Beach Bowl is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.