Coastal Carolina University and East Carolina University Selected to Play in the 16th TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Coastal Carolina University (9-3), representing the Sun Belt Conference, and East Carolina University (7-5), representing The American Athletic Conference, will meet in the 16th TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 27. The game will kick off at 5:45 p.m. CST at Birmingham’s Protective Stadium and will air on ESPN and Bowl Season Radio. 

“As we prepare for the 16th TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl, we look forward to building on the amazing atmosphere and success of last year’s first game at our new venue, Protective Stadium,” said Mark Meadows, TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl executive director. “We know that Coastal Carolina, East Carolina and their fans will enjoy the unique brand of southern hospitality that Birmingham offers while in town for the holidays.” 

This is the first match-up between Coastal Carolina and East Carolina. 

The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers are currently ranked second in the Sun Belt. This will be Coastal Carolina’s first appearance in the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl. 

“We are excited to be playing in the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl this season, a place with great football history in Birmingham, Alabama. Our team is excited to represent our University and the Sun Belt Conference once again on a national level. We will get back to work and look forward to playing in another postseason bowl game, especially one that has such a great impact on the local community and has a great relationship with TicketSmarter, ESPN Events, and several charities,” said Coastal Carolina Interim Head Coach Chad Staggs. 

“We are honored and excited to accept an invitation to the prestigious TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl. The opportunity for our program to play in the football capital of the south and to be associated with the city’s rich football history is special, and all of Teal Nation looks forward to a great bowl experience in the Magic City,” said Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics and University Recreation Matt Hogue. 

The East Carolina Pirates are currently tied for sixth in the AAC. This will be East Carolina’s third appearance in the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl, participating in the first Birmingham Bowl game in 

2006 against the University of South Florida and then again in 2015 playing against the University of Florida. 

“This is an exciting opportunity for the young men in our program who have shown an exemplary commitment and dedication to moving our football program forward in a positive direction. Playing in back-to-back bowl games is another step in our journey to restoring the prominence of Pirate Football. I know our young men will be prepared, focused and enthusiastic to represent the Purple and Gold in Birmingham,” said East Carolina Head Coach Mike Houston. 

“We are honored to accept an invitation to the Birmingham Bowl and play in the postseason for the second consecutive year under head coach Mike Houston,” East Carolina Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert said. “I am excited for our student-athletes, coaches and staff to represent East Carolina University, our community and all of eastern North Carolina. In conjunction with Mark Meadows and the Birmingham Bowl, I know our young men will have a first-class bowl experience. We have a dedicated group including a special group of seniors that have worked to rebuild our football program. We are looking forward to Pirate Nation joining us in Birmingham,” said East Carolina Athletic Director Jon Gilbert. 

Tickets can be purchased here. All seating is reserved, with ticket prices starting at $30. For information on premium seating, hospitality and branding opportunities, contact Mark Meadows at [email protected]. All tickets will be delivered digitally. 

The TicketSmarter Birmingham bowl logo can be downloaded here for media usage. 

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Local Media Contact: 

Heather Jeffcoat, 205-515-1972 or [email protected] 

ESPN Media Contact: 

Bill Hofheimer, 860-766-9589 or [email protected]