"The Sports Commission is extremely proud to host the second annual FirstMerit Patriot Bowl, which we can add to our listing of events that bring excitement, visibility and a significant economic infusion for Northeast Ohio ," says David Gilbert, President & CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.
The FirstMerit Patriot Bowl will mark the first ever meeting of the Eagles and the Golden Flashes. Kent State will be the home team.
Kent State returns 15 starters from last year's team, including All-MAC selections Eugene Jarvis – the nation's leading returning rusher – Derek Burrell at linebacker and Augustus Parrish on the offensive line.
"We're happy to work with the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission on an event that will bring a marquee Division I football opponent to Cleveland ," KSU Athletic Director Laing Kennedy said. "We're proud that this game will be the continuation of an annual event and are looking forward to what should be a great day of fun and football."
BC will come into the game with an excited group of new and old faces. Most notably, the Eagles will bring in a new signal-caller, the replacement of 2007 ACC Player of the Year, Matt Ryan. Even with a new leader at the helm, the 2008 team will have an experienced band of wide receivers and offensive producers; 14 starters from the 2007 team return, including All-ACC first-team tight end Ryan Purvis. Boston College is led by second-year head coach Jeff Jagodzinski, who guided last fall's team to an 11-3 record, including a 24-21 victory over Michigan State in the Champ Sports Bowl. The win marked the program's eighth consecutive bowl victory and allowed them to finish the season ranked number 10 in the AP Poll.
Tickets go on-sale to the general public Tuesday, May 13th at 10:00 a.m. (EST). Tickets are available through Ticketmaster: online at www.ticketmaster.com, via phone at 216.241.5555 or at Ticketmaster locations (Macy's and select Giant Eagle stores). Tickets can also be purchased through Kent State by calling 330.672.2244, Boston College by calling 617-552-3000 or through the Cleveland Browns Box Office at 440-891-5050 or (toll free) 888-891-1999.
Ticket prices for the game range from $15 to $45; $45 for mid-field lower level seating, $30 for lower level seating between the end zones and 30-yard lines, $20 for the lower level corners and $15 for end zones. ADA seating is available in each price category. Group discounts are available for groups of twenty or more through Ticketmaster or by calling the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission at 216.621.0600. The Cleveland Browns welcome Visa cards.
The winner of the Patriot Bowl will walk away with the "Cleary Trophy" named for Michael Cleary, long-time Executive Director of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) in recognition of his lasting service to the Cleveland community, collegiate athletics and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. In the 2007 FirstMerit Patriot Bowl, the University of Akron Zips defeated the Army Black Knights 22 to 14.
FirstMerit Bank is the title sponsor for three years (2007, 2008 and 2009). Sports Time Ohio has become a media partner to promote the event and Josh Cribbs, Cleveland Browns wide receiver & special teams stand out and former Kent State University quarterback will serve as a spokesperson for the event. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit military-related charities.
For more information, visit www.patriotbowl.com, or contact the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission at 216.621.0600.