Louisville will now add the Wasabi Fenway Bowl on December 17, 2022 into their storied bowl history. Louisville has been a part of 24 bowls in the history of the program and the Wasabi Fenway Bowl will be a first for the Cardinals due to the Fenway Bowl’s late entry into the NCAA postseason bowl era.
Founded in 2020, the Wasabi Fenway Bowl was established as an extension of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. It became the fourth NCAA bowl to be held in a Major League Baseball stadium. The iconic Fenway Park follows in the footsteps of Yankee Stadium, which is home to the appropriately named Pinstripe Bowl, the San Diego Padres home field, Petco Park, which is the home of the Holiday Bowl, and Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, which hosts the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.
Two years after its inception, the Fenway Bowl has yet to be recorded in the NCAA as an official bowl. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Fenway Bowl was cancelled in October 2020. The organizers, ESPN Events and Fenway Sports Management, made a cohesive decision to postpone the bowl until the end of the 2020-2021 football season. At the conclusion of the 2020-2021 season, the Virginia Cavaliers and the Southern Methodist University Mustangs were chosen as the inuagural teams to kick off the Fenway Bowl on December 29, 2021.
However, the game did not come to fruition due to COVID-19 issues again. Now with the pandemic in the rear view mirror, ESPN Events and Fenway Sports Management are eager to kick this bowl off with a bang in 2022. The Selection Committee gave them an exciting matchup due to the geographic proximity and storied rivalry between the University of Louisville and the University of Cincinnati.
The reinvigoration of the Keg of Nails Rivalry will cement the kickoff of the Wasabi Fenway Bowl into history. Especially with all the added storylines of Cincinnati’s Head Coach Luke Fickell accepting the position of Head Coach at the University of Wisconsin and Louisville will be without Jalen Mitchell, Trevion Cooley and others due to the transfer portal.
Kickoff for the Wasabi Fenway Bowl is set for 11 AM EST in Boston, Massachusetts on Deceember 17, 2022. Look for a hard fought battle between the Cardinals and the Bearcats.