Cigar Bowl (defunct)
StadiumPhillips Field
LocationTampa, Florida

The Cigar Bowl was a post-season college football bowl game held in Tampa, Florida, featuring small college teams. The nine editions of the bowl were held from January 1947 (following the 1946 season) through December 1954 (following the 1954 season).


The Cigar Bowl was played at Phillips Field,[1][2] which was located across the Hillsborough River from downtown Tampa at the current site of Tampa Preparatory School and Julian Lane Riverfront Park. The bowl's name was inspired by the local cigar industry, which had been a major factor in Tampa's growth around the turn of the 20th century.

The Cigar Bowl marked the first bowl appearances for the Florida State Seminoles (following the 1949 season) and the Tampa Spartans (following the 1952 season). Three editions of the bowl were played in December (1951, 1952, 1954), while the rest were played in January. In some years, the game was part of a month-long "sports circus" in Tampa, with college basketball, golf, and tennis tournaments scheduled around the area along with horse racing and boxing.[3]

The Cigar Bowl itself was sponsored by the local Egypt Temple Shrine as a fundraising event.[4] After a few years, the limited capacity of Phillips Field (20,000 with temporary bleachers) and the rising cost of hosting the contest caused the organization to rethink its sponsorship. The Shriners discontinued support in 1955, and the bowl folded.[5] There were several attempts to revive the game as a major bowl in subsequent years, but the lack of a larger venue—Tampa Stadium did not open until November 1967[6]—made drawing top college teams impossible.[7] Tampa next hosted a college bowl game in 1986, when the Hall of Fame Bowl (later renamed the Outback Bowl) relocated from Birmingham, Alabama.

Game results

Date Winner Loser
January 1, 1947 Delaware 21 Rollins 7
January 1, 1948 Missouri Valley 26 West Chester 7
January 1, 1949 Missouri Valley 13 St. Thomas (MN) 13
January 2, 1950 Florida State 19 Wofford 6
January 1, 1951 La Crosse State 47 Valparaiso 14
December 29, 1951 Brooke Army Medical Center 20 Camp Lejeune 0
December 13, 1952 Tampa 21 Lenoir–Rhyne 12
January 1, 1954 Missouri Valley 12 La Crosse State 12
December 17, 1954 Tampa 21 Charleston 0

See also


  1. ^ The Evening Independent – Google News Archive Search
  2. ^ Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Google News Archive Search
  3. ^[bare URL]
  4. ^ "History of the Egypt Shrine". Archived from the original on 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2010-10-22.
  5. ^ Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Google News Archive Search
  6. ^ "Timeline". Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  7. ^ Tampa Bay Football History Network – Outback Bowl Prologue Archived 2011-07-24 at the Wayback Machine