National Championship

Allstate Sugar Bowl

Allstate Sugar Bowl
January 1, 2021
7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Coverage: ESPN
Mercedes-Benz Superdome 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive
New Orleans, LA 70112 United States

 

87th Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl
From the first Sugar Bowl in 1935 through this past year’s 85th Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic at the world-famous Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the goal of the event has remained the same – to create the best game possible. Over its storied football history, the Sugar Bowl Classic has hosted many of the best coaches, players, and teams in college football history. Fifty Hall of Fame coaches have stalked the sidelines of the Sugar Bowl, while 18 Heisman Trophy winners and countless All-Americans have shown their skills in the New Orleans event. Throughout history, Sugar Bowl fans have had the opportunity to experience the brilliance of 28 national championship teams as well as seven match-ups between the top two teams in the nation – true national championship games.

It has been played annually since January 1, 1935, and celebrated its 75th anniversary on January 2, 2009. The Sugar Bowl, along with the Orange Bowl and Sun Bowl, are the second-oldest bowl games in the country, behind the Rose Bowl Game. The Sugar Bowl was originally played at Tulane Stadium before moving to the Superdome in 1975. When the Superdome and the rest of the city suffered damaged due the Hurricane Katrina in 2006, the Sugar Bowl was temporarily moved to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Since 2007, the game has been sponsored by Allstate and officially known as the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Previous sponsors include Nokia (1996–2006) and USF&G Financial Services (1988–1995).

The Sugar Bowl has had a longstanding — albeit not exclusive — relationship with the Southeastern Conference (SEC) (which once had a member institution based in New Orleans, Tulane University; another Louisiana school, Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, is still in the SEC today). Indeed, the Sugar Bowl did not feature an SEC team only four times in its first 60 editions, and an SEC team played in the game in every year but one from 1950 to 1995. The SEC's opponent varied from year to year, but, prior to the advent of the Bowl Championship Series was often the runner-up of the Big 8 or SWC, or a major independent.

As a member of the Bowl Championship Series, the Sugar Bowl hosted the BCS National Championship Game twice (2000 and 2004). However, from the 2006 season to the 2013 season, the BCS National Championship Game had been a stand-alone event, following one week after the New Year's Day bowl games. This means that, under the now-defunct BCS format, no traditional bowl game hosted the BCS National Championship Game, but that game was played at the venue of one of those traditional major bowls, rotating amongst the four sites, including the Superdome.

The payout for the 2006 game was $14–17 million per participating team. According to Sports Illustrated, the 2007 salary for Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan was $607,500.

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