Bull Run your Julie McCoy for St. Petersburg Bowl Presented by Beef 'O' Brady's

Al Messerschmidt

Or hot just about BOB Bowl!

Bull Run will provide you travel information on the Bowl Games we hope UB gets invited to.  The third Bowl Game is the St. Petersburg Bowl Presented by Beef 'O' Brady's.

Quick History

The Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl (formerly the St. Petersburg Bowl) has been played annually at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, since 2008. It was first played known as the magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl, after corporate sponsor magicjack at $9 per phone line. When Beef O' Brady's became the sponsor in 2009, the official name was changed to the St. Petersburg Bowl Presented by Beef 'O' Brady's. The bowl game features teams from The American and Conference USA (the former of which has many past members of the latter), unless one of the conferences does not have enough Bowl eligible teams, in which case the MAC or  Sun Belt Conference eligible to send a team.  Previous games and Ball State did not win the MAC a bowl game last year.

Date Winning Team Losing Team Attendance
December 20, 2008 South Florida 41 Memphis 14 25,205
December 19, 2009 Rutgers 45 UCF 24 28,793
December 21, 2010 Louisville 31 Southern Miss 28 20,017
December 20, 2011 Marshall 20 FIU 10 20,072
December 21, 2012 UCF 38 Ball State 17 21,759

A quick heads up on St. Pete's if you travel to game.  From the Wiki Page:

St. Petersburg has the 4th highest rate of violent crime in Florida, and the lowest number of murder/manslaughter offenses of the top 5 violent crime cities in Florida. It is the 58th ranking city in the United States when it comes to violent crime. It is less safe than 95% of cities in the United States.

On that note let's dig right in with Weather:

The average temperature high is 70 degrees with a low of 55 degrees for December 20-24.

How to get to St. Petersburg:

Now this flight is manageable.   Jet Blue has a round trip ticket that is $347.98. You do have a long layover in Boston. They do have a Legal Seafood in terminal!  Legal Seafood terminal C

I have you arriving Friday evening and coming home Christmas Eve to be home with family.

This is a game that you can drive to!   The distance in miles from UB Stadium to Tropicana Field is 1,265.  In current traffic conditions that would be 19 hours and 23 minutes.   Thrifty and Dollar are your best bet for rental car at $174 for a week.  For a group of four, with a 30 mpg car, at 42 gallons at $3.55 average gallon cost, is $149 in fuel.  With taxes and miscellaneous items total is $449/4= $112.25 per person.  Please take my personal advice and watch your speed in West Virginia.  You have been warned

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via www.dmv.org

Where to stay in St. Petersburg?

The Frugal Traveler.  The Knights Inn St. Petersburg Tropicana $42 per night.

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via www.tnetnoc.com

You just cannot find comforters that sexy anywhere else but at the Knight's Inn.   Our hotel is conveniently located between I-275 and US Highway 19 to serve the needs of business leisure and group travelers. Bus and tour groups are welcome. The newly renovated property has king and double beds for the comfort of the guests. We are centrally located to all major athletic fields stadiums and convention centers. The Landmark Restaurant and Lounge on the premises offer special discounted rates for all hotel guests. Beaches attractions and shopping malls are all within minutes from our property.

What the guests have to say:

Stayed at this hotel in August, the staff was nice and friendly, the hotel was a good value for money, it was clean and safe with no thrills. If you are looking for a clean & safe place and are on a budget this is your place. The pool area was nice and is located in the middle of the hotel!!! Great place to crash if your watching the Rays!

We enjoyed our stay at the Knights Inn. It was a great hotel for the price and the two star rating. Our room was very clean and comfortable. We had a fridge which was convienent. The pool area was nice too. It was quiet and we got good sleep. The staff was friendly and helpful with some local info. There is a quaint outdoor/indoor bar restaurant as part of the hotel. There is a Waffle House right next door that serves great breakfast!

The Road Warrior Place to Stay:  The Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore

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via www3.hilton.com

What guest have to say:

The hotel was clean, quiet, inviting, and well situated to local attractions. The beds were excellent as always for Hilton. The concierge and reception were polite and helpful. Service personnel were kind and overall, I felt we definitely received our money's worth

I was very pleased with this hotel. Very close to the airport, shuttle service was available. It's hard to tell, but there lots of places to eat around the hotel. The hotel menu was not very good, not enough variety. I was here on business and I used their meeting facilities. The staff were very nice helpful. The meeting rooms were good and the staff checked on us to make sure everything was going well.

Where to stay if you are Vman or a High Roller:  The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa.

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via www.tnetnoc.com

No rooms available to us peasants but you can make a call and get a room comped if you have some serious cheese to spend.

Where to eat in St. Petersburg.  Listen Tampa/St. Pete is the chain capital of the world.  It is where Outback, Carabba's, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and Hooters all started.  To be honest, not a ton of great local food.

Z Grille, the restaurant at the bottom of Signature Place. These days he's trying to get away from the burritos and tacos he was known for at his first restaurants, but he will not be able to divest himself of deviled eggs or Dr Pepper fried ribs if St. Petersburg diners have any say.

And nearby Red Mesa Cantina gets the nod over flagship restaurant Red Mesa (which actually has slightly better food) for sheer coolness. The Lucha Bar is downright hip, the tequila list is the best in town and the duck taco with grilled pineapple is about as much fun as you can have for $4.25.

Our third restaurant in this category is far from the hubbub of downtown. Alésia Restaurant was opened in 2011 by first-time restaurant owners Sandra Ly-Flores, Erika Ly and Paul Hsu. It's an airy, lovely space in which to linger over casual French and Vietnamese cafe classics (from croque monsieur to pho) at super-reasonable prices, nothing over $8.50.

• Z Grille, 104 Second St. S, St. Petersburg; (727) 822-9600; zgrille.net

• Red Mesa Cantina, 128 Third St. S, St. Petersburg; (727) 896-8226; redmesacantina.com

• Alésia Restaurant, 7204 Central Ave., St. Petersburg; (727) 345-9701; alesiarestaurant.com

My favorite sports bar in the area isWalter's Press Box, 222 S Dale Mabry HighwMyay, pressboxsports.com

Bottom line: The Press Box says "old-school dive" in the absolute best kind of way, from the wood-grain paneling on the walls, to the coin-operated pool tables to the way that sunlight has zero chance of getting inside. For seeing the HD big-screens, there's not a bad seat in the whole joint.

Recommended eats: Jumbo buffalo wings with hot or Jamaican jerk sauce (20 for $14); buffalo chicken melt ($8.79).

Specials: Bud Light, Miller Light and Coors Light buckets (6 bottles) for $16, domestic pitchers for $8, domestic drafts for $2.25, and all liquors doubled during all football games.

Also many people "tell me" who make it to the Tampa/St. Pete area go to the shoe dance.  Here is an interesting article on that. Click Here

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via static.sandiego.com

What do you have to see or do when you are in St. Petersburg?

I could go all hipster and suggest the Salvador Dali Museum or the Sunken Gardens, but come on we are football fans. You are spending the day at Busch Gardens Adventure Park.  I do ask a personal favor.  If you happen to make it to the free beer tasting area and you see a silver haired fox in UB gear doing keg stands for what seems long for any normal human, grab Chubby Hubby and get him a sandwich and a water.  He will thank you in the morning.

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via images.budgettravel.com

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