NASSAU: The Bahamas is one of two new venues set to host National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball post season games in 2014, according to U.S. media reports.
The Bahamas Bowl would be the first post season bowl played outside the United States since the International Bowl was held in Toronto from 2007 to 2010. It would be held at the new Thomas Robinson Stadium, which has a 15,000 seat capacity.
Conference USA (C-USA) is expected to play a team from the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in the Bahamas Bowl.
C-USA teams will also participate in bowl games in Boca Raton, Florida to be staged at the Florida Atlantic University Stadium.
The Bahamas has already garnered NCAA basketball interest with the Battle 4 Atlantis and Junkanoo Jam tournaments, along with the Bahamas Basketball Federation’s “Summer of Thunder” exhibition series.
Earlier this year, Tyrone Sawyer, director of sports tourism development at the Ministry of Tourism; projected the Bahamas to earn more than $13 million in revenue from sports tourism in 2013. Sawyer’s projection was based on the success of recent events, including the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup qualifier tournament, LPGA PureSilk Bahamas Open and the exhibition match between England’s Tottenham Hotspur and Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz, which he says “has done a great deal for the country’s sports tourism profile”.
The addition of major college football, which finished fourth in a 2012 Harris Poll of America’s top 10 Favourite Sports, will strengthen the Bahamas’ rapidly expanding sports tourism profile.