Could Jackson get a college football bowl game?

Could Jackson get a college football bowl game?
Veterans Memorial Stadium at Jackson State University (Source: WLBT)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A new state flag means that Jackson can now seek NCAA football bowl games, according to Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba.

The mayor discussed the prospects at a Jackson City Council legislative committee meeting Tuesday.

“A new window that just opened up that we have not discussed that does address the stadium and what we can do now, is that now that the state has changed the flag, we can go to the NCAA and get a bowl game,” Lumumba said. “We couldn’t do that before.”

Lumumba challenged Visit Jackson President and CEO Rickey Thigpen to work on bringing a bowl to the capital city, something that he said he is already working on.

It was unclear who would sponsor the bowl, but Thigpen said he would be meeting with Continental Tire and Southwest Airlines to discuss the possibility.

Said Thigpen, “We’re very interested in making that happen.”

The mayor says the city is able to pursue a bowl game because the state has officially changed the state flag.

Previously, the NCAA banned championships and bowl games in the state as part of its Confederate flag policy, according to NCAA.org.

In June, the NCAA board of governors expanded the flag policy to include all championships, including baseball, softball, lacrosse and women’s basketball.

The Southeastern Conference and Conference USA had also banned championships in the state, citing the Confederate battle emblem in the former state flag, which was adopted in 1894.

Following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer, the state legislature approved a new flag this summer. Voters overwhelmingly adopted the new standard during the November general election.

“It kills me when I see some of my colleagues on commercials talking about the Birmingham Bowl or the (Independence) Bowl and we don’t have that going on,” Lumumba said. “We can actually do a bowl game now and are no longer banished from doing that by the NCAA.

“It’s something we should be looking into.”

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