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.