Salem’s annual “Stagg Party” will be held under the Friday night lights this year as the Division III National Championship game moves to primetime on the ESPN family of networks.
“We are thrilled with news that the Stagg Bowl will move under the lights this year,” says Greg Shaheen, NCAA Interim Executive Vice President of Championships and Alliances. “Our long-standing relationship with our hosts in Salem and the tradition-rich opportunity to have the Stagg Bowl on a new day and time make for a great event experience for everyone to enjoy.”
Since the Stagg Bowl set up shop in Salem in December 1993, the game has been played exclusively on Saturdays and it has only kicked-off in primetime on one other occasion. In 2001, Mt. Union and Bridgewater played in front a sold-out stadium and a national television audience and produced one of the most exciting games in the history of the championship as the Purple Raiders topped the Eagles 30 to 27 as 7,992 fans looked on.
“This is a great move for the championship,” says Brad Bankston, Commissioner of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. “Playing at night will provide the city and NCAA the opportunity to spotlight Division III football in primetime, which is something we have wanted since that 2001 game.”
ESPN will televise the game at 7pm on December 16 on ESPN-U. “This is a great opportunity to highlight NCAA Division III Football, as well as Salem and the entire Roanoke Valley in a primetime national broadcast on the ESPN family of networks,” says Carey Harveycutter, Salem’s Game Manager for NCAA Championships. “It should be a great atmosphere under the lights for this year’s game.”
Tickets for the 39th annual Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl are now on sale at the Salem Civic Center box office.