If there’s one thing Texas knows, it’s football. So it’s no surprise that when the NCAA decided to change the location of its annual Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, it turned to the Lone Star State to host its Division III football championship.
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College football fans will head to Shenandoah, Texas, for the 2018 and 2019 Stagg Bowl games. The top two teams of the 32-team Division III playoffs will face off on the gridiron on Dec. 14, 2018, at Woodforest Bank Stadium, a nationally recognized sports venue that seats 9,600 fans.
To kick off this year’s championship game, fans can sport their team colors at the city’s Stagg Bowl FanFest Tailgate Party on Dec. 14. In true Texas fashion, you’ll find barbecue and country music at this pregame party, as well as longhorn livestock for photo ops, a monster truck set up, and other games and vendors.
In addition to tailgating, those visiting for this fun football weekend can experience more of this small Texas town’s charm. Not only are you just 40 minutes from Houston, the fourth-largest city in the U.S., but locally, Shenandoah boasts plenty of shopping, outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking, and the local food scene is definitely worth exploring. Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse has become a local favorite, and this location is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, touting daily specials like chicken deburgo, parmesan-crusted steak and more.
Shenandoah is only the fifth city to have hosted the event. This is the first time the Stagg Bowl has been played west of the Mississippi River and it’s the first time in 25 years the game has been played in a different city other than Salem, Va., which has hosted the championship game since 1993. Prior to that, only three other cities have hosted the game — Phenix City, Ala.; Kings Island, Ohio; and Brandenton, Fla.
While Shenandoah may be a new destination for the Stagg Bowl, it isn’t the first time the town has hosted a major sporting event. In 2017, the NCAA hosted its Division III Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the Conroe Independent School District Natatorium. Conroe ISD is the 11th-largest school district in Texas and 65th-largest district in the U.S., so both Woodforest Bank Stadium and Natatorium are well equipped venues to host large sports events.