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Belk gets ready for some football

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Belk Bowl today announced that they have finalized a deal that will bring an SEC team to the Belk Bowl beginning in 2014. The agreement extends for six years.

"We are thrilled to have the SEC as a partner for the Belk Bowl. We look forward to bringing the best of college football to Charlotte," said Tim Belk, Belk's chairman and CEO.

"The SEC is pleased to welcome the Belk Bowl to our bowl lineup," said SEC commissioner Mike Slive. "Charlotte will provide a great holiday destination for our schools and their fans and we look forward to a long and productive relationship."

The 12th annual Belk Bowl will be played on Saturday, December 28, with a 3:20 p.m. kickoff and televised nationally on ESPN. This year's game features a matchup of the Atlantic Coast Conference and the American Athletic Conference (former Big East) and is played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. Public tickets will go on sale in the fall.

The first college bowl game to call the Carolinas home, the Belk Bowl has averaged nearly 60,000 fans each year, with three sellouts. In addition, the 2011 game was viewed by more than 15 million people. In 2003, it was named one of the five best startups in sports in the past five years by the Sports Business Journal, behind only the NFL Houston Texans and ESPN The Magazine.

Individual tickets for the 2013 Belk Bowl will go on sale in early October and will be available through TicketMaster and the participating schools. Fans can visit the official website for more information about the game and surrounding events.

Belk is a family-owned and operated department store company with 301 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states and a growing digital presence. Founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., the company is in the third generation of Belk family leadership. 

The Charlotte Sports Foundation is a nonprofit organization that runs the Belk Bowl and serves as the local organizing committee for the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game. The foundation's mission is to create, recruit and execute high-caliber athletic events for Charlotte. In addition to adding new highly visible participatory events and elevating existing ones, the foundation also works to secure additional professional, collegiate and amateur events that will enrich Charlotte's sports landscape.