As the only Tampa-based hotel sponsor of the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl and the closest one to Tampa International Airport (just 4 miles away), The Westin Tampa Bay invites you to cheer with the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl crowd and enjoy a heavenly night's sleep once the festivities are over. A most convenient choice to stay for the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl (a.k.a St. Petersburg Bowl) at Tropicana Field, we're also centrally located so you can enjoy easy access to the city's best entertainment options.
As the premier Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg hotel in Tampa, The Westin Tampa Bay welcomes football fans to take advantage of our luxurious accommodations and convenience.
About The Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl
"With so much enthusiasm for the football in the State of Florida, a state that has representation in four major NCAA conferences, it seemed only natural for the addition of a new Bowl Game in the Sunshine State.
So natural in fact, that the Worldwide Leader in Sports took an interest, and along with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker and representatives from Visit St. Petersburg Clearwater and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. ESPN successfully pitched the idea for the St. Petersburg Bowl to the NCAA Bowl Certification Committee.
On April 30th, 2008 ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, Inc., announced the creation of the St. Petersburg Bowl, a college football postseason game to be nationally televised on ESPN 2.
The Bowl is owned and operated by ERT and will be played at Tropicana Field, home of the 2008 American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays. In addition to announcing the formation of the bowl that day, ERT also announced the bowl would feature a bowl-eligible team from the BIG EAST Conference against one from Conference USA.
"St. Petersburg is proud to host the St. Petersburg Bowl," St Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker said, "With the announcement, our city joins an elite group of 28 cities nationwide to host a NCAA Collegiate bowl game. I'd like to thank ESPN for its leadership in recruiting the bowl game, and we look forward to welcoming the BIG EAST and Conference USA to St. Petersburg."
ESPN Regional Television owns and operates five other post season college football bowls: the Papajohns.com Bowl (Birmingham, AL); the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, TX); the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl; the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl.
We look forward to the opportunity to host a bowl game at a great destination - St. Petersburg," said Pete Derzis, Senior Vice President and General Manager, ERT. "The St. Petersburg area has a great association with sports, it's a great venue and this is sure to be a rewarding experience for the student-athletes and their teams, as well as the fans who attend the game."
"We are thrilled to be hosting the St. Petersburg Bowl," said DT Minich, Executive Director of Visit St. Petersburg Clearwater. "From Grand Prix to baseball tournaments to triathlons, the St Pete/Clearwater area has a long history of hosting prestigious sporting events, so we're honored to b named the inaugural home of a bowl competition. It also gives us the opportunity to showcase on of America's premiere sports travel and vacations destinations, with award winning beaches, world-class cultural attractions and more."
"The St. Petersburg Bowl is another great bowl opportunity for the BIG EAST," said Mike Trangese, Big East Conference Commissioner. "The game is played in a BIG EAST market and already has generated great interest in the local community, and the partnership with ESPN will help the game grow quickly. Our coaches are always excited to play a postseason game in the State of Florida."
"We are excited about the opportunity to develop a new bowl in Florida," C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky said. "St. Petersburg is a wonderful community and a great destination for C-USA fans. The BIG EAST Conference will surely provide a great opponent on the other side of the ball. We also are confident that our partner, ESPN Regional Television, will make the experience positive and memorable for the student-athletes."
Derzis, Senior Vice President and General Manager of ESPN Regional Television said, "We are pleased to partner with magicJack and to have a cutting edge telecommunications company associated with this event. The partnership will enhance our marketing efforts both regionally and nationally, allowing us to further develop the St. Petersburg Bowl as a first-class experience for fans, the community and all participants."
On December 7th, 2008, the bowl announced the University of South Florida (BIG EAST) and the University of Memphis (Conference USA) became the first ever invites to the St Petersburg Bowl." ~ www.stpetersburgbowl.com