CASTLETON–The Board of Governors of the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, at its October meeting, voted to hold the 63nd annual Bowl game at Castleton University. The game will be played Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, with the usual spectacular parade at 3 p.m., followed by the football game at 5:30 p.m.
The game brings together some of the finest high school football players in Vermont and New Hampshire. The head coaches for the August 2016 classic will be announced in November and players for game will be announced in February.
The decision to host the game at Castleton again was a direct result of the success of the 2015 game. “We are delighted that Castleton will once again be hosting the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl this year,” President Dave Wolk stated. “Last year’s parade and game were excellent examples of the Rutland region coming together with the university to embrace such a wonderful cause, supporting both the philanthropy of the Shriners and the efforts of the student-athletes. We promise yet another fantastic experience for players, their families, fans, coaches, and Shriners in 2016. It has been wonderful to host Shrine players and coaches from both Vermont and New Hampshire for the past three years during their training camps, and we now hope that the parade and game have found their permanent home on our beautiful campus and in the Rutland region.”
Dartmouth was home to the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl from 1958 to 2014, with the exception of seven years: 1967 when the game was played at UVM, 1968 at UNH, 2006 at Plymouth State and 2009 to 2011 at Windsor High School, followed by Castleton in 2015. All of these moves were the result of stadium renovations.
The Maple Sugar Bowl Board of Governors’ comparison of the 2015 game, revenue and expenses between Castleton and Dartmouth was the main reason for selecting Castleton for the 2016 game. Hosting the game at the same venue as the training camp reduced expenses substantially. Castleton University’s Spartan Stadium, their staff and support help also contributed greatly to the success of the game.
Attendance was up in 2015, and having the parade end at the stadium and main parking lots proved to be very successful. The air was electric with energy leading up to the game. The Board of Governors will continue to look at all options for extending this historic and traditional game into the future.
The Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl is a major contributor to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, the world’s greatest philanthropy, located in 22 locations around the U.S., in Montreal (Quebec, Canada) and in Mexico City. The contributions from the 2015 game far exceeded those of the past several years combined. With further enhancements anticipated for the 2016 game, expectations are high to do even better.