We no longer have a Bahamas Bowl sponsored by a city in Illinois to look forward to.
Elk Grove Village, Illinois, has been the sponsor of the game for the past two seasons. The city used the sponsorship to advertise its industrial areas and titled the game the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl.
Alas, the city is not renewing its deal. A spokesperson for ESPN told the Bahamas Tribune that the city would not be back.
The Bahamas Bowl will, however. So there’s a ray of good news in these not-so-great times.
Elk Grove replaced chicken chain Popeye’s as the game’s title sponsor following a sponsorless game in 2017. The city paid $300,000 a year for the title sponsorship and the idea came from Mayor Craig Johnson. After Johnson’s idea, Elk Grove Village had looked at potentially sponsoring the Hawaii, New Mexico or Bahamas Bowls and settled on the tropical locale.
Johnson didn’t like Hawaii’s late-night slot and New Mexico wasn’t a warm-weather locale like Johnson was picturing in his head, so the Bahamas Bowl — a game previously sponsored by Popeyes Chicken — ended up being the choice.
For $300,000, about half of the village’s annual marketing budget, Elk Grove Village would make sponsorship history as the Bahamas Bowl title sponsor. The village board approved the deal with a unanimous vote at a special board meeting at the end of July and a public announcement was made.
Johnson was staggered by the response.
“Our goal all along was that we wanted 95 percent of the benefit by kickoff,” Johnson said. “In the first 24 hours, we got five thousand times the return.”
The Bahamas Bowl has typically been one of the first bowls played every bowl season and features teams from the MAC and Conference USA. Buffalo beat Charlotte in the 2019 Bahamas Bowl.
– – – – – – –
Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
More from Yahoo Sports: