Published On: Wed, Jan 10th, 2024

Bowl Time Has Always Been “Community Time” In the City

The 10-Year Annual Boca Raton Bowl Game
Once Again Celebrated Community at “Boca Raton’s Biggest Annual Outdoor Party”

Boca Raton, FL – Boca Raton was once again in the national television spotlight as the 2023 Boca Raton Bowl took to the field at year-end in FAU Stadium with ESPN broadcasting live as the University of South Florida Bulls triumphed over Syracuse University Orange 45-0. The Bowl game drew 1 million viewers to ESPN that evening; nearly 2 million viewers with re-airs, global and streaming.

The Boca Raton Bowl is a celebrated annual holiday tradition in Boca Raton and Palm Beach County that lived up to its other name “Boca’s Biggest Annual Outdoor Party.” As the only collegiate Bowl game in Palm Beach County, it featured a full week of all the pomp and circumstance of a traditional bowl event. The high-energy, entertaining experience for both college football fans and non-fans alike made it a great family and friends or company holiday party night with lots of community ties for what ESPN estimates as more than 20,000 attendees.

As one of 17 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, the Boca Raton Bowl debuted in 2014 and has been well received in the community for 10 years. It has twice held the distinction of matching up two conference champions – Marshall University vs. Northern Illinois University (2014), and UAB vs. Northern Illinois (2018). Through the years, six conference champions and another three conference division champions have played in the game. Counted among the Bowl’s alumni are New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (BYU, 2020 and also No. 2 pick in the NFL draft), Houston Texans running back Devin Singletary (FAU, 2017) and Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick (Temple, 2015), who helped lead the Eagles to Super Bowl LVII.

The Community Joined in “Bowl Fever” Early with Memory-Making Lead-in Festivities

From the Boca Raton Chamber’s annual holiday breakfast featuring speakers from Syracuse University and University of South Florida to greeting teams upon their arrival at their host hotels and the two-team kick-off luncheon featuring Palm Beach County Legends Award winner Anthony Carter… community and civic pride and excitement ran high. Bowl countdown week also included teams’ welcome parties at Silver Ball Museum and Drive Shack West Palm Beach, beach parties at Benny’s on the Beach at Lake Worth Pier, and team visits to Boca Raton Regional Hospital and the VA Medical Center.

Several hundredcame out for the pre-game fun, bringing their families, friends and colleagues to the open-to-the-public pep rally at Mizner Park Amphitheater featuring both 2023 Boca Raton Bowl teams’ bands, dancers and cheerleaders. The pep rally, held on the eve of game day, revved up excitement in Boca Raton featuring more than 318 band, spirit squad and dance team members from USF and 183 band, spirit squad and dance team members from SU. The experience was filled with resonating spirit and pride for residents and visitors who had traveled from around the country to cheer on their teams.  

On game day, the fun started hours before kick-off with the popular Boca Raton Bowl Fan
Fest & Family Midway that featured family-friendly interactive games and activities for fans of all ages, food trucks, giveaways and contests, a live band, and team bands and cheerleading/dance squads welcoming
the teams as they arrived. Residents got in the game spirit early with resonating tailgating spirit leading up
to opening ceremonies and kick-off of Palm Beach County’s only annual NCAA-sanctioned college football
bowl game.

Bowl Time Has Always Been “Community Time” In The City

Community Recognized on Field

Throughout the game, several community organizations were highlighted on field for the work they do all year. Among them, were:

  • City of Boca Officials: Mayor of Boca Raton Scott Singer, Deputy Mayor Monica Mayotte, and City Council Members Yvette Drucker, Fran Nachlas, and Marc Wigder                                  
  • City of Boca Officials: Mayor of Boca Raton Scott Singer, Deputy Mayor Monica Mayotte, and City Council Members Yvette Drucker, Fran Nachlas, and Marc Wigder                                  
  • Palm Beach County Officials: Palm Beach County Mayor Maria Sachs – District 5, Vice Mayor Maria Marino – District 1, and Commissioners Gregg Weiss – District 2, Michael Barnett – District 3, Marci Woodward – District 4, Sara Baxter – District 6, Mack Bernard – District 7 and County Administrator Verdenia Baker.
  • 2023 Game Ball presented to CEO Lincoln Mendez for all Boca Raton Regional Hospital Baptist Health South Florida has done for its community.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Greater Palm Beach County
  • Baptist Health “Orthopedic Care Performance of the Year” finalists for high school athletics.
  • Dr. Joaquin Garcia Girls Volleyball
  • Palm Beach Lakes Football
  • Boca Christian Volleyball
  • Fort Pierce Westwood Football
  • Spirit of Giving, the Boca Raton Bowl’s Charity Partner, presented its Annual Community Spirit Award to Robert and Pamela Weinroth
  • Brad Ginsberg Family Foundation, the official community voucher sponsor for the Bowl game.  The Brad Ginsberg Family Foundation recognizes the needs of the local community, especially those who are impoverished or facing economic hardship, as well as those facing mental and or physical challenges. Bowl game vouchers were presented to local outreach organizations and programs, providing many in the Boca community the opportunity to enjoy a fun night.
  • Boca Raton Bowl Beth Johnston “Volunteer of the Year” Award presented to Dr. Joe Lee, who has been the Bowl’s practice site coordinator for 10 years. The award was renamed this year… in honor and memory of Beth Johnston with her family on-field. Johnston was a past award recipient who worked tirelessly as a Community Captain and especially as the liaison to the band and spirit squads.
  • Extra Yard for Teachers Recognition to FAU High School history teacher Christopher Clevenger and 2023 FAU School District Teacher of the Year for his dedication to his students on and off the field.
  • YMCA of South Palm Beach County recognition as a leader in our community, providing programs and services to local families in need without regard to race, age, ability, background or gender.
  • ServPro “Honor a Responder” Award presented to exemplary first responder Battalion Chief Scott Ward, who has been a pillar in the community, distinguishing himself through bravery and skill while also mentoring the next generation of leaders. 
  • Lion Country Safari sharing animal trivia.
  • Recognition of Rotary Clubs of District 6930, champions of community, beacons of service, and builders of a brighter tomorrow.
  • Navy SEAL Skydivers presented by G.A. TELESIS, a global leader in aerospace, and sponsor of skydive that delivered the coin to referees for the game coin toss. The jumpers represented the National Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida, birthplace of the Navy frogman in WWII, home to the only museum dedicated to U.S. Navy SEALs.

Adding to “Bowl Time” Holiday Magic … Nonprofits, Schools, and Veterans Groups
“Got in the Game” With Complimentary Bowl Tickets

The Boca Raton Bowl Charity Partner Spirit of Giving once again offered free tickets for nonprofit, school and veterans groups by registering with Spirit of Giving in advance of game day. Those granted complimentary tickets also received complimentary snacks and refreshments.

For more information and highlights of the 2023 Boca Raton Bowl, lead-in events, visit or follow through social media on Facebook (, Twitter (@BocaBowl), and Instagram (@BocaBowl).

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of collegiate sporting events nationwide.
In 2023, the 33-event schedule included four early-season college football kickoff games, 17 college bowl
games, nine college basketball events, a college softball event and the inaugural Band of the Year National Championship, in addition to a new college gymnastics event coming in 2024. Collectively, these events
account for over 400 hours of live programming on ESPN platforms, while reaching 60 million viewers and
attracting more than 650,000 annual attendees. Each year, the portfolio of events features more than
20 Division I conference and hosts over 4,000 participating student-athletes. With satellite offices in more
than 10 cities across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans. 

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