The Miami Beach Bowl was announced yesterday by the American Athletic Conference, to take place at Marlins Park in Miami. While it's not actually on the beach, it does take place in the new park on the site of the old Orange Bowl. (Here's a picture of the field configuration).
The AAC will be the anchor conference for the bowl, having one entrant from the conference every year, playing a teams from Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, or the Sun Belt Conference.
It's the 38th bowl game (not including the College Football Playoff Championship). The bowl will be owned and operated by the American Athletic Conference.
For USF this is big news. With two Florida teams in the conference, if both USF and UCF are bowl eligible, but not conference champs, it gives both schools easy trips in-state to see their teams in the post-season.
The AAC isn't sending its champion to any specific bowl, keeping its options open so that the conference champion can fill-in if one of the Power Five conferences can't fill a bowl bid.
Unless something surprising happens, the American has announced all of its future bowl games for the 2014-2019 Bowl Cycle. The American will have a minimum of 6 bids per season, except in 2016 and 2017 when there will be 5 bids:
- Military Bowl (yearly) vs. ACC
- BBVA Compass Bowl (yearly) vs. SEC
- Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl (yearly) vs ACC/C-USA
- Miami Beach Bowl (yearly) vs. C-USA/MAC/SunBelt
- Armed Forces Bowl (2014, 2016, 2018, alternating with Hawaii Bowl) vs. Big12/Army, Big 10/12 backup
- Hawaii Bowl (2015, 2017, 2019, alternating with Armed Forces Bowl) vs. Mountain West
- Bahamas Bowl (2014, 2018, backup in other years) vs. MAC, C-USA/SunBelt backup
- Boca Raton Bowl (2015, 2019, backup in other years) vs. C-USA, MAC/SunBelt backup
- Liberty Bowl (backup if SEC/Big 12 cannot fill a bid) vs. SEC/Big 12
Teams from the AAC can also fill in for at-large bids if Power 5 conference teams cannot fill their bids.
(As an aside, I wonder if this game goes well, if the Miami Hurricanes would play a game there in the future.)