CHARLESTON, SC – Citing the change in status of The Citadel’s Johnson Hagood Stadium, the Executive Committee of the Medal of Honor Bowl has decided to suspend plans for the 2017 football game, according to Chairman Tom McQueeney.
The game was tentatively set for Saturday, January 7, 2017. The Executive Committee expects that the next game will be played on January 13, 2018.
The bowl had been engaged in promising conversations with FBS commissioners from across the country prior to the moratorium placed upon new bowl games by the NCAA on April 11 of this year. Subsequently, the Medal of Honor Bowl had entertained several nuances to the all-star format that had gained momentum at their last game in 2015, when the game attracted 12,571 fans.
According to McQueeney, The Citadel’s leadership has a very difficult institutional dilemma in charting a course for future Citadel football games at the stadium. The Citadel recently played their first 2016 home football game against Furman University without use of the east side (visitors’) stands. Funding for a full replacement, though well overdue, could be prohibitive.
That section of the otherwise updated facility opened on October 16, 1948, and currently has myriad issues related to structural integrity and lead paint mitigation. The Citadel intends to repair and open about 3,000 seats to accommodate the balance of the Bulldogs’ 2016 schedule. A final solution will come after a further structural assessment is secured by the college.
“I am confident that The Citadel will adopt a feasible plan in the very near future,” McQueeney said. “With their permission, we would like to continue to bring a high-profile post-season football event to our community and state while supporting our commitment to the Medal of Honor and especially the amazing museum facility to be built here.
“The bowl has proven to be a catalyst in attracting people to a family-oriented event that supports all levels of our military,” McQueeney added. “I am most appreciative of The Citadel’s communication on the matter, and our committee and volunteers plan to assist the solution process in any way that we can. Johnson Hagood Stadium is the only facility within one hundred miles that has the capacity to host a bowl event. The Charleston area will continue as an amazing destination for our joint future in this bowl endeavor.”
Though the bowl game is temporarily suspended, the Executive Committee agreed to move forward on other annual functions that include the “Let Freedom Swing Golf Tournament” at the Country Club of Charleston on October 3, 2016; and the Medal of Honor True Blue Gala & Heroes Luncheon, tentatively set for January 6, 2017.