RedBox Bowl cancelled for 2020

The image of the Illinois Illini and the Cal Bears at the Red Box Bowl Levis Stadium in Santa Clara back on Dec 30, 2019. It is not known when the Red Box Bowl will return because of Covid-19 related protocols. (Image from the Big Ten Conference)

By Jeremy Kahn

A San Francisco tradition will not be played this December at Levis Stadium, and it is unclear if it will return.

The RedBox Bowl that moved to Levis Stadium when the stadium opened in 2014 from AT&T Park was cancelled back in August due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

While its unfortunate that we are unable to stage the 19th iteration of the Bay Areas Bowl game this December, I’m confident that the Bowl property, along with the entire live sports, events and tourism industry, will be in a healthier position next year, and we cant wait to welcome new college football teams and fans back to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2021, said RedBox Bowl executive director Ryan Oppelt in a statement.

The RedBox Bowl made its debut in 2002 as the San Francisco Bowl at what was known as Pacific Bell Park in a game that pitted the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Air Force Falcons.

Just one year later, the San Francisco Bowl was the last event at Pacific Bell Park before the name change to SBC Park.

Not only did the name of the ballpark change, but the name of the bowl changed as well, as the name of the game became the Emerald Bowl and that was the name until it became the Fight Hunger Bowl when the Nevada Wolfpack defeated the Boston College Eagles 20-13, as the Wolfpack were led to victory by a senior quarterback named Colin Kaepernick.

After the game moved to Levis Stadium beginning with the 2014 edition, the name of the game changed to the Foster Farms Bowl and that would be the name of the game until 2018 when it became the RedBox Bowl.

When the game moved to Levis Stadium, it also became a matchup between two of the elite conferences in the country, as the game matched teams from the Big Ten and the Pacific 12 Conferences.

The California Golden Bears defeated the Illinois Fighting Illini 35-20 before 34,177 in the 18th edition of the game.

Red Box Bowl/Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips: Bears feel an advantage playing in Bay Area; Illinois no push over have beaten two big schools

photo from Red Box Bowl at Levis Stadium will host the Illinois Illini and the Cal Bears on Mon Dec 30th

On the Red Box Bowl/Cal Bears podcast with Morris:

#1 At the Red Box Bowl presser on Friday Cal head coach Justin Wilcox and the players were in a great mood

#2 How good does it get for Cal having the Bowl game set in the Bay Area against the Illinois Illini did Wilcox or any of the players address having to play the game in the Bay Area.

#3 In talking with Cal quarterback Chase Garbers quite a year certainly wants to end his season with a win at the Red Box Bowl

#4 Last season the Bears played at the Cheez It Bowl in a game they lost to TCU 10-7 it was kind of a sleeper but being the in Bay Area and the Illini being a good team this could be a shoot out

#5 Coach Wilcox says turnovers can’t be the rule of the day as the Illini took advantage using seven turnovers to upset Wisconsin and win at Michigan State in their two marquee wins.

Morris is a Cal Bears beat writer and does the Bears weekly podcasts each Monday at

Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips: Bears can’t keep up with Boston College; Will Illini-Bears match up be a close one for Red Box Bowl?;

photo from Matt Bradley (20) of the Cal Bears takes a shot against Boston College Eagles on Saturday at Chase Center in San Francisco at the Al Attles Challenge

On the Cal Bears podcast with Morris:

#1 On Saturday at Chase Center was the game against Boston College (8-5) a game that the Cal Bears (6-6) could have won in a 64-60 loss.

#2 The Bears had a chance to hold off the Eagles after leading in the first half the game slipped in the second half when BC outscored Cal 38-31.

#3 Playing at Chase Center was there a different feel a different vibe playing in a neutral site game for the Bears that might have played in their game.

# 4 Matt Bradley led the Bears with 21 points with nine rebounds and two assists he’s been big for Cal but they could have used more help on Saturday.

#5 The Bears now have lost four of their last five games and host Harvard next Sunday at Haas Pavilion

#6 Football: The Illinois Illini and Cal Bears on paper look like evenly matched teams you will have a chance to talk with both teams on Friday 27th at a presser in talking with Cal quarterback Chase Garber how much is riding on this game this Saturday. The Red Box Bowl at Levi Stadium is on Mon Dec 30th.

Morris Phillips does the Cal Bears podcasts each Monday at

Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips: Bears put on a show of resilience, but Gaels just too much on Saturday; Cal set for kickoff at Redbox Bowl photo: Cal’s Andre Kelly (22) had a hot hand against St. Mary’s forward Malik Fitts (24)  Kelly scored a career-high 26 points on Saturday night at Haas Pavilion.

On the Cal Bears podcast with Morris:

#1 On Saturday night at Haas Pavilion, the Cal Bears put on a exhibition of resilience when they attempted to come back and rally on the visiting St. Mary’s Gaels.

#2 Like you said in your article, the Gaels brought aggressiveness, experience and nerve to the table in their 11-point win over Cal Saturday.

#3 It was the first loss at home for this season for Cal. They have won five of six games at home and are 6-5 and winning at home against a complete St. Marys team was going to be a task.

#4 The Gaels are in the top 25 in the nation at 10-2. Needless to say, Mark Fox–head coach of Cal–called St. Marys a very good offensive school.

#5 Next up for Cal? The Golden Bears will be at the Chase Center in San Francisco this Saturday, Dec. 21st when Cal tips off against Boston College for a 2:30 pm matchup.

#6 Football: Cal kicks off against the Illinois Illini Monday, Dec. 30th at Levi’s Stadium for the Red Box Bowl. Talk about Cal quarterback Chase Garbers throwing against that Illini defense.

Join Morris every Monday for the Cal Bears podcasts at