Interest in SWAC championship game remains

(STATS) – The Southwestern Athletic Conference hosting a championship game was so unique in the FCS that many people were disappointed when it was discontinued following last year’s matchup in December.

The decision isn’t necessarily permanent.

There’s still enough interest across SWAC schools that its potential return should be a widely discussed topic when the 10 conference members meet for media day activities late next week.

While no other FCS conference hosts a championship game, the SWAC’s was held for 19 years, with the East and West division winners facing off. The last three winners advanced to the Celebration Bowl to meet the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion.

But the SWAC announced in June 2017 a decision to shift focus to the bowl and said it would send its regular season champion instead.

The first 14 championships were held at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama, before the game was moved to Houston’s NRG Stadium in 2013. The first three games in Houston ranked in the top five of the series for attendance, but the average of 39,435 in those years fell to just below 25,000 in each of the last two years (Grambling State won for a record eighth time last season).

If the SWAC can figure out a way to draw big numbers again, the championship game could return in the near future.