The 2019 Belk Bowl is just around the corner. Are you excited? You should be. Kentucky will play Virginia Tech, a program with some prestige and name recognition, in a New Year’s Eve nooner in Charlotte. It’s not the Jacksonville trip we planned for (thanks, Tennessee) but it will be a fun one in Bank of America Stadium to complete an exciting calendar year for Big Blue Nation.
But before we start packing our bags and purchasing our hot passes for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, let’s first get everyone familiar with the Belk Bowl, its storied history and discounted home goods. Here are many of the most frequently asked Belk Bowl questions, answered.
What is a Belk anyway?
Belk is a department store chain found across 16 states, mostly in the south. There are seven Belk locations in Kentucky: Ashland, Bowling Green, Corbin, Elizabethtown, Middlesboro, Richmond and Somerset.
Belk is the official game sponsor, although this is the final year of the sponsorship. Belk has announced it will not renew the deal moving forward. So, enjoy this one because it’s done after that.
What was it before the Belk Bowl?
The game was created as the Queen City Bowl in 2002, but almost immediately became the Continental Tire Bowl. After a three-year run of hawking Continental tires, it became the Meineke Car Care Bowl in 2005 and remained that way through 2010.
Belk, which is based in Charlotte, took over the rights in 2011. It’s going to be sad to see it go.
What do they sell at Belk?
I’ve never been to a Belk but my dad recently told me he got a great deal on some springtime/summertime sport coats and blazers at the Richmond location. So they at least have sport coats and blazers. He paid close to nothing for them off a sale rack.
A quick glance at Belk’s online store tells me it sells a little bit of everything from the clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty, and houseware genres. I even see UK floormats for your car or truck — or for wherever you rest your feet while you watch Lynn Bowden and UK’s offense drive all over Virginia Tech’s defense.
So it’s like a Kohl’s?
Yeah, sure. My understanding is it’s like if Kohl’s, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx had sex together.
Will Belk have one of those fancy fan areas set up outside the game?
Yes, there is a Belk Bowl FanFest for your pre-kickoff Belk activities in Charlotte. FanFest will open at 9 a.m. on game day.
From the Belk Bowl website:
9:00am FanFest opens to the public
9:30am FanFest Stage music performance
10:00am PurrCussion, Black & Blue Crew, and Belkie perform
10:30am Belk Bowl Gates Open
11:30am FanFest Stage music performance
11:45am Food and Beverage Sales Stop
12:00pm FanFest is closed, Belk Bowl KICKOFF
This map, also from the Belk Bowl website, may be helpful too:
Who is/are the musical guest/guests at FanFest?
I don’t know and I don’t think the Belk Bowl knows because it hasn’t been announced yet. Let’s all take a guess.
I’ll say, um, Jodeci. They’re from Charlotte and it’s never too early in the morning for a live performance of “Freek’n You.” My guess is Jodeci.
What does Kentucky get for going?
The Belk Bowl payout is $4.51 million, almost a mill-and-a-half more than the $3.17 payout for the TaxSlayer Bowl. However, the SEC shares its revenue so it is way too complicated of a process for any of us to know the actual dollar amount UK will receive for going to Charlotte.
As for the Kentucky players, they will each be gifted a Belk shopping spree for their participation. Cheap sport coats, blazers and floor mats for everyone!
Who won last year’s Belk Bowl?
South Carolina embarrassed the SEC last year by getting skunked by Virginia in the Belk Bowl, 28-0. Almost immediately after the win, Virginia’s first bowl win in over a decade, Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins shot his shot by saying the Cavaliers would upset Clemson to win the ACC in 2019.
(Spoiler: They did not upset Clemson to win the ACC in 2019. In fact, Clemson beat Virginia, 62-17.)
What about the Belk Bowl before that?
Here, have the entire history of the Continental Tire/Meineke Car Care/Belk Bowl:
|2002||Continental Tire Bowl||Virginia||(15) West Virginia||48-22||73535|
|2003||Continental Tire Bowl||Virginia||Pittsburgh||23-16||51236|
|2004||Continental Tire Bowl||(25) Boston College||North Carolina||37-24||73258|
|2005||Meineke Car Care Bowl||NC State||USF||14-0||57937|
|2006||Meineke Car Care Bowl||(23) Boston College||Navy||25-24||52303|
|2007||Meineke Car Care Bowl||Wake Forest||Connecticut||24-10||53126|
|2008||Meineke Car Care Bowl||West Virginia||North Carolina||31-30||73712|
|2009||Meineke Car Care Bowl||(17) Pittsburgh||North Carolina||19-17||50389|
|2010||Meineke Car Care Bowl||USF||Clemson||31-26||41122|
|2011||Belk Bowl||NC State||Louisville||31-24||58427|
|2013||Belk Bowl||North Carolina||Cincinnati||39-17||45211|
|2014||Belk Bowl||(13) Georgia||(20) Louisville||37-14||45671|
|2015||Belk Bowl||Mississippi State||NC State||51-28||46423|
|2016||Belk Bowl||(18) Virginia Tech||Arkansas||35-24||46902|
|2017||Belk Bowl||Wake Forest||Texas A&M||55-52||32784|
|2018||Belk Bowl||Virginia||South Carolina||28-0||48263|
What does the trophy look like?
Only the best trophies for the Best Bowl. pic.twitter.com/R97ZcbsOKl
— Belk Bowl (@belkbowl) December 9, 2019
Who is going to win this year’s Belk Bowl?
Kentucky, obviously. Don’t be stupid.