Troy University and Duke University Selected to Play in the 76® Birmingham Bowl

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Troy University Trojans (11-2), representing the Sun Belt Conference, and Duke University Blue Devils (7-5), representing the Atlantic Coast Conference, will meet in the 76® Birmingham Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 23. The game will kick off at 11 a.m. CST at Birmingham’s Protective Stadium and will air on ABC and Bowl Season Radio. 

“We have a great matchup this year with Troy and Duke playing at Protective Stadium. We look forward to having the teams and their fans spend the holidays in Birmingham to enjoy the unique southern hospitality and food that our city offers. We hope local football fans join the free pre-game bowl festivities at Uptown on December 22 and 23,” said 76® Birmingham Bowl Executive Director Mark Meadows. “We encourage everyone to purchase their tickets now while they are available.” 

This will be the Trojans first appearance in the 76® Birmingham Bowl. They are back-to-back Sun Belt Champions. 

“A bowl game is a reward for our players, our fans and our staff for an amazing season,” Troy Head Coach Jon Sumrall said. “This will be a fantastic opportunity for our program to show on a national stage the level of football played in the Sun Belt Conference against an opponent from the ACC. Make no mistake, we’re going to Birmingham to win a football game, but we’re also going to ensure that our players have a great experience and are rewarded for their championship season.” 

“The back-to-back Sun Belt Champions are headed to the premier Sun Belt Conference bowl game for a second straight season,” Athletics Director Brent Jones said. “There are very few bowls matching up a Group of Five school against a Power Five opponent, and for Troy to secure one of those coveted matchups shows the strength of the Troy Football brand and the elite status of the Sun Belt Conference. The Birmingham Bowl will be an amazing experience for our student-athletes and fans to celebrate another Sun Belt Championship.” 

This will be Duke’s first appearance in the 76® Birmingham Bowl, but the Blue Devils have played in Birmingham in the 1989 All-American Bowl. “Special thanks to Mark Meadows and the 76® Birmingham Bowl for this opportunity — we are excited to travel to Birmingham and play an excellent Sun Belt champion Troy team. I am very familiar with the City of Birmingham, so I know our players and fans will have a great experience,” said Duke Interim Head Coach Trooper Taylor. 

“We are absolutely thrilled to accept the invitation to play in the 76® Birmingham Bowl! Our young men, coaches, and staff have earned the opportunity to play a 13th game this season and, led by our seniors, we’ll prepare to compete against a terrific Troy University football team. We are deeply appreciative to Mark Meadows and the bowl game staff, as I know that everyone affiliated with our program, including our incredible fans, will have a first-class experience in Birmingham,” said Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics, Nina King. 

The two teams have played twice before, in 2013 and 2014. Duke won both matchups. 

All seating at Protective Stadium is reserved and can be purchased at All tickets will be delivered digitally. For information on Premium Seating, hospitality and branding opportunities, contact Mark Meadows at [email protected]. 

The 76® Birmingham Bowl is one of 17 college football bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events. 

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About the 76® Brand 76® is a registered trademark owned by Phillips 66 Company and licensed for exclusive use by Motiva Enterprises LLC in 26 gulf and east coast states. The 76® brand has been on the driver’s side for over 80 years and sells TOP TIER® gas that benefits vehicles and the environment, as it helps clean engines, burns less fuel, and reduces emissions. ESPN Events 

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of collegiate sporting events nationwide. In 2023, the 33-event schedule includes four early-season college football kickoff games, 17 college bowl games, nine college basketball events, a college softball event and the inaugural Band of the Year National Championship, in addition to a new a college gymnastics event coming in 2024. Collectively, these events account for over 400 hours of live programming on ESPN platforms, while reaching 60 million viewers and attracting more than 650,000 annual attendees. Each year, the portfolio of events features more than 20 Division I conferences and hosts over 4,000 participating student-athletes. With satellite offices in more than 10 cities across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans. 

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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]