R.I.P. Elk Grove Village/Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl. Long live the Bahamas Bowl.
One of the more unique bowl game sponsorships in college football is indeed no more. According to a report from the Bahamas Tribune, the annual postseason contest is no longer being sponsored by the industrious Illinois hamlet of Elk Grove.
Yes, instead of attracting entrepreneurs to an office park outside Chicago’s main international airport, the lone regularly played bowl game outside the lower 48 states will instead be held without a title sponsor for the time being.
“Elk Grove Village/Makers Wanted will not be returning as the title sponsor of the Bahamas Bowl,” an ESPN spokesperson told the local paper. “We thank them for their support of our game and community over the last two years.”
The game is owned and operated by ESPN Events and has been a fun addition to the typically crowded slate in mid-December. Fast food chain Popeyes was initially the title sponsor of the contest for its first three years but that eventually gave way to the municipality of Elk Grove Village, Illinois picking up the rights to slap their name on the entity.
The two year stint was all she wrote however as they declined to extend their agreement with the bowl game earlier this month. They reportedly paid $300,000 as part of the deal.
In the most recent Bahamas Bowl, Buffalo thumped postseason newcomer Charlotte at Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau. The game continues to have a tie-in with the MAC through the 2025 season and typically matches a team from that league against one from CUSA.
The uniqueness of the location (and players needing a passport to play in it) has always made it a very special bowl game on the annual postseason docket. Add in a few classics like Western Kentucky’s thrilling win over Central Michigan in the inaugural 2014 edition and more than a few fans have had a soft spot for the venerable game.
While it’s no surprise to hear that a title sponsor is on its way out of the picture, at least in these difficult times it’s good to hear that the show is still set to go on down in the Caribbean this coming December.