Top 10 Worst College Football Bowl Locations
Over the next few weeks, college football fans will be provided with wall-to-wall action thanks to the smorgasbord of bowl games on the slate, 35 in all.
But would anyone want to travel to some of the games’ locations to actually watch them in person? For every Pasadena, CA, there is an El Paso, TX, that is hosting a game. So, let’s examine the 10 worst locations hosting a college bowl game based upon the weather, travel and the city’s condition, activities and night life..
10. Nashville, TN (Franklin Am. Mortgage Music City Bowl)
A trip to Tennessee for the Franklin Am. Mortgage Music City Bowl? We’ll pass. Of course, “Music City” has a great entertainment scene and is a worthy tourist spot. But if you aren’t into country music or Civil War history, that cuts down your options in Nashville. We don’t know about you, college football fans, but live performances of the Grand Ole Opry? Yawn. And while technically in the South, late December isn’t exactly toasty in Tennessee.
9. Memphis, TN (AutoZone Liberty Bowl)
Memphis has found itself on the list of country’s most-dangerous cities based on a Crime Risk Index from U.S. News and World Report. We don’t need that formula to tell us that there are better places to spend New Year’s Eve, when Cincinnati will play Vanderbilt in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Beyond Beale Street and Graceland, Memphis doesn’t have any significant attractions and, well, is not far from the borders of rural Mississippi and Arkansas. Yay?
8. San Antonio, TX (Valero Alamo Bowl)
Let’s get this out of the way: San Antonio is a nice city with friendly people. But anyone who has been there can tell you that it’s not exactly a destination. It’s a laid-back spot with a good economy, but does that make you want to make the trek for a winter vacation? Sure, the River Walk and Alamo are attractions, but they aren’t enough to make the Valero Alamo Bowl anything more than a decent game to watch on TV. As Phil Jackson put it, “Once you’ve been (to San Antonio), you’ve been there enough.”
7. Birmingham, AL (BBVA Compass Bowl)
Unless you are an athlete headed to see famed surgeon Dr. James Andrews, we really don’t see a reason to visit Alabama’s largest city. And don’t say for the BBVA Compass Bowl, either. Southern metropolises New Orleans or Atlanta are better options - both of which are within reasonable drives of Birmingham. It’s reputation as one of the nation’s most-dangerous cities also makes the trip less-enticing, to say the least.
6. Shreveport, LA (AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl)
So close, yet so far away. If you are heading to Louisiana, why not check out party-all-night New Orleans or college town Baton Rouge? Instead, Shreveport has a population of just 217,000 people. Its claim to fame is being the cultural center of Ark-La-Tex, where the states of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas meet.
5. Mobile, AL (GoDaddy.com Bowl)
You are certain to find a big helping of Southern hospitality in Mobile, along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. But the city’s population is just under 200,000 and it’s a bit second-rate. We would rather enjoy the Mardi Gras celebration in nearby New Orleans - Mobile has one of its own - travel to Birmingham or college towns Tuscaloosa or Auburn instead. GoDaddy.com - who likes to sell sex in its commercials - could find a more glamorous spot for a bowl game.
4. Albuquerque, NM (Gildan New Mexico Bowl)
Located in the middle of the desert, it’s like a poor man’s Las Vegas without the glamor and fun. One of the biggest tourist attractions is the Albuquerque Aquarium, which makes about as much sense as a bowl game in New Mexico. The weather stinks in the winter and it’s also really far away for East Coasters - like the Temple fans who made the 2,000-mile trek to last weekend’s bowl game.
3. Detroit, MI (Little Caesars Pizza Bowl)
Sorry, good people of Detroit, we are rooting for your city’s economic comeback. But please don’t make us visit during the winter. The Motor City is freezing. The game will be played indoors at Ford Field, but who wants to trek through dilapidated Detroit with the biting wind numbing his or her face to see Purdue take on Western Michigan in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl? Count us out.
2. Boise, ID (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl)
Just under 1.6 million people live in Idaho - that’s about as many as you will find in line to use the ice-skating rink at New York City’s Rockefeller Center. We aren’t knocking the city itself - it’s picturesque and no doubt a quiet spot to raise a family - but it’s not a hub of excitement and certainly not an ideal place to take a trip in December. The big tourist attraction? Boise’s blue field. And you will have to endure the cold and two non-BCS teams battling it out in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Not enticing.
1. El Paso, TX (Hyundai Sun Bowl)
What does it say about the bowl’s location in remote West Texas when coaches warn their players not to cross into Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez, a.k.a. “The Murder Capital of the World,” out of fears for their safety? El Paso itself is best known for being at the center of the never-ending U.S.-Mexican drug war. Looking for warm weather? You’re also in the wrong place during the winter. And with the game set for Dec. 31, who wants to ring in the New Year in the middle of nowhere feeling like they are on an actual battle field?