Location: Charlotte, N.C.
Matchup: Duke vs. Cincinnati
Payout: $1 million
Sometimes you just need somebody, anybody, to put their name on your bowl and pony up some cash. Since the former Queen City Bowl started in 2002, it's had three sponsors.
Former sponsor Meineke Car Care Center left for a bigger bowl in Houston. Continental Tire bailed out entirely. When it came time to pass the hat for this year's bowl in Charlotte, only department store chain Belk answered the call. With its slogan "Modern Southern Style" and flagship stores in North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, Belk just transformed this bowl from a national affair to a regional spectacle.That Duke is taking part in this bowl with a 6-6 record and being thrown to 9-3 Cincinnati is a stunning testament to just how badly this bowl wanted a North Carolina team on the marquee. With this unbalanced matchup and sponsor that's fairly unknown to the rest of the country, the Belk Bowl is going to need all the local support it can get.
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