Gibbs Stadium to be Home to Shrine Bowl in 2004, 2005
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
SPARTANBURG, SC—Gibbs Stadium at Wofford College will be the site of the 2004 and 2005 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, the prestigious high school all-star football game. The contract includes an option clause to host the 2006 game.
The Shrine Bowl was awarded on Saturday, Aug. 16, by the Shrine Bowl Board of Governors, meeting in Raleigh. Spartanburg was in contention with Greenville and Rock Hill, home of the 2003 game as well as the past two.
Top players in South Carolina and North Carolina are involved in the game, and all funds raised go to the Shriners Hospital for Burned and Crippled Children.
Spartanburg’s bid was presented by Team Spartanburg, the sports council for the Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau, in cooperation with Wofford and several local businesses and individuals.
“We are very excited about having the Shrine Bowl played at Gibbs Stadium,” said Richard Johnson, athletics director at Wofford. “This is the result of a lot of hard work by Team Spartanburg and will showcase the Spartanburg community and our revitalized downtown area. I am delighted that we were able to attract this wonderful event to our campus and our community. We hope to become the permanent home of the Shrine Bowl.”
David Wood, Wofford senior vice president, echoed Johnson. “This is great for the city of Spartanburg, and is a classic example of the fine spirit of cooperation pervades our fair community. We’re delighted to be a part of it, and know the city and the county will enjoy having this special event.”
Steve Brown, volunteer chairman of the Sports Development Committee of Team Spartanburg, said, “We are absolutely ecstatic. We’re proud of Spartanburg and for Team Spartanburg.”
Jimmy Gibbs, a Wofford College trustee who supported Team Spartanburg’s proposal, said, “It’s great news. It helps keep Spartanburg on the map. I sometimes don’t think Spartanburg gets the recognition it deserves in the state.”
Bucky Walker, the Shriner’s game chairman, told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal on Saturday: “This is a blessed day for the Shrine Bowl. We’ve gone from obscurity to almost out of business, and this is the brightest day in 67 years.”
The game was played in Charlotte for 64 years before moving to Rock Hill two years ago.
Brown said it shouldn’t be difficult to meet the Shriners’ goal of filling the stadium. “There’s no doubt we’ll fill it to capacity. I talk to people every day, and they say how much they’d like to see the game or volunteer to help.”