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FL Hosting 8 College Football Bowl Games

BitCoin Bowl St. Petersburg

There are eight college football bowl games across Florida, including the BitCoin St. Petersbug Bowl on Dec. 26 at 8 p.m. between North Carolina State and the University of Central Florida.

It used to be called the Beef O'Brady's Bowl, sponsored by a familiar sports bar and restaurant that got its start in Brandon, Fla. Now, the college football bowl game played at Tropicana Field is called the BitCoin Bowl.

Beef O’Brady’s – most of us know that. But BitCoin?

"I personally know I did some research back when I heard that BitCoin was going to be the title sponsor of the bowl just to get some more information on what bitcoins were and that sort of thing, and  we've actually even talked about making sure our players know what it is,” said Andy Seeley, the assistant athletics director for athletics communications at UCF.

As it turns out, BitCoin is a form of digital currency you buy online, explained Ashley Wheeler, who is with the ESPN St. Petersburg BitCoin Bowl and represents title sponsor BitPay.

“They actually have a wallet setup on their phone, and it's just a button,” Wheeler said. “They scan their QR code, they confirm their payment and then the BitCoin is transferred from one account to another.”

If you're looking to go to the BitCoin Bowl, know this: you can use the digital currency BitCoin to buy tickets, but no, you don't have to. Once you're inside Tropicana Field, though, only good, old-fashioned cash or credit accepted.

This will be the third meeting between the teams, and both schools are hoping to see the Trop filled with their colors: black and gold for UCF; red, white and black for the NC State Wolfpack.

"It's our third trip over to that bowl game and each year it's been under a different name, but each year's been a great experience,” Seeley said.  “They do a really great job over there and it's certainly good for our fans that they can make a quick, easy trip over to St. Petersburg and catch a really great game."

UCF got to the BitCoin Bowl in somewhat stunning fashion, winning its last regular season game against East Carolina University with the final play.

More than half of the UCF football players are from Florida, with many from all over the I-4 corridor, Seeley said.

“I'm sure a lot of them are going to be happy to be playing at home in front of friends and family as well,” Seeley said.

And NC State’s roster has a dozen players who come from cities across Florida, from Pahokee to Plantation to St. Petersburg.

Texas and Florida host more college football games than any other state with seven games each. And on Jan. 9, 2017, Tampa's Raymond James Stadium has another game on the schedule: the national title game under the new postseason system that's in effect starting this season. 

Here is a schedule of all the college football bowl games in Florida for 2014-15:

Monday, Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. on ESPN
Miami Beach Bowl
BYU vs. Memphis   
Final score: Memphis 55 - BYU 48
Marlins Park in Miami, Fla.          

Tuesday, Dec. 23 at 6 p.m. on ESPN
Boca Raton Bowl
Marshall vs. Northern Illinois
Final score: Marshall 52 - Northern Illinois 23
FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla.

Friday, Dec. 26 at 8 p.m. on ESPN
Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl
NC State vs. UCF 
Final score: NC State 34 - UCF 27           
Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.     

Monday, Dec. 29 at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN
Russell Athletic Bowl
Oklahoma vs. Clemson 
Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. on ESPN
Capital One Orange Bowl
No. 7 Mississippi State vs. No. 12 Georgia Tech  
Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Thursday, Jan. 1 at noon on ESPN
Auburn vs. Wisconsin
Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

Thursday, Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. on ABC
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
Missouri vs. Minnesota
Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Friday, Jan. 2 at 3:20 p.m. on ESPN
TaxSlayer Bowl
Iowa vs. Tennessee
EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.

NOTE: We've corrected this story to indicate there are eight college football bowl games in Florida. Somehow, the TaxSlayer Bowl slipped past us. Our apologies.

Lottie Watts was our Florida Matters producer from 2012 to 2016. She also covers health and health policy for WUSF's Health News Florida .