Raisin Bowl Tickets

With football bowl season underway with games like the Potato, Pinstripe and Taxslayer bowls, it seemed as good a time as any to look back at games that once were. Some had hilarious names – the Salad and Raisin bowls – while others were in dreamy locations and at least one was sponsored by a booze company. With a slate of 40 bowl games for 2016-17, it's stunning that there are more than a dozen bowl games through history that didn't survive.

Likely the defunct game most mourned is the long-standing Aloha Bowl, during which players from the across the U.S. had a chance to frolic in the Hawaiian sun for a week right up to Christmas Day. But, alas, like many other now defunct games, finances caused its demise.

Here's a look at some of the more interesting games that once were, in chronological order.

Silicon Valley Football Classic (2000-04)

Wikimedia Silicon Valley Football Classic

If there was ever a bowl that was doomed, the short-lived Silicon Valley Classic seems to be it. Though the first two games drew well (more than 25,000 fans) at small Spartan Stadium (capacity 30,000), things went downhill fast with the 2002 game when only about 10,000 fans turned out to see Fresno State vs. Georgia Tech. If that wasn't bad enough, only 5,494 fans showed up for the final game. From rain to a power outage to picking teams from 2,000 miles away, the 2004 game between Northern Illinois and Troy was a comedy of errors. A big thunderstorm broke out just before the start of the game, two light stanchions inside the stadium failed and trouble with the TV feed caused the start of the game to be delayed.

Overall, though, the bowl had tie-ins with the WAC and Pac-10 (taking the seventh bowl-eligible team), but those tie-ins never really played out and in 2005, the game’s license was revoked. The Silicon Valley Football Classic was replaced by the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego.

Aloha Bowl (1982-2000)

Sportslogos.net Aloha Bowl

A Christmas morning tradition – and twice the first game of a football doubleheader – in Honolulu for nearly two decades, the Aloha Bowl was canceled when DaimlerChrysler merged with sponsor Jeep. The game was supposed to relocate to San Francisco, but lost its certification before the move could happen. Known for its festive atmosphere, the Aloha Bowl was long the only bowl game held outside of the continental United States. In 1998-99, the game was followed by the Oahu Bowl and televised as a doubleheader. The Oahu Bowl lasted only one year more, but was played on Christmas Eve in 2000.

Though the Aloha Bowl didn't have any real juice in terms of prestige, it was definitely a favorite for players, who were treated to a luau and, of course, a week in Hawaii leading up to the game. Among other defunct Hawaii bowl games are the Poi Bowl (1936-39) and Pineapple Bowl (1939-41, 1947-52).

California/Raisin Bowl (1946-49, 1981-91)

eBay California/Raisin Bowl

Interestingly, there were two bowl games with the word "raisin" included. From 1946-49, there were five games played – four on Jan. 1 and one on Dec. 31, 1949. The Raisin Bowl, which was played in Fresno, featured a California team, which won four of the five games. The bowl fell apart after the 1949 season, leaving Fresno without a bowl game. More than 30 years later, Fresno introduced the California Bowl, which pitted the champion of the Big West vs. the champion of the Mid-American. The bowl, in both cases a lower-profile event, was renamed the California Raisin Bowl when the California Raisin Advisory Board bought the naming rights. The game lasted 11 years before moving to Las Vegas.

Garden State Bowl (1978-81)

Wikimedia/eBay Garden State Bowl

Putting a college football game in a northern state in December wasn't the smartest idea, and that was proved correct just four years after the Garden State Bowl started. Played at the Meadowlands, it featured snow in 1980 and a game-time temperature of 29 degrees in 1979. Though the game attracted such well-known programs as Arizona State and Tennessee, it never drew more than 41,417 (1980) fans in a stadium that held 77,000. The bowl organizers in New Jersey decided it would be better to stage a game to open the season, which led to the creation of the Kickoff Classic that began in 1983 and lasted 20 years, usually featuring highly ranked teams.

Bacardi Bowl (1907, 1910, 1912, 1921, 1937, 1946)

University of Miami Digital Archives Bacardi Bowl

Held intermittently in Havana, this game on six occasions featured a Cuban team and an American university. Only the 1937 game was between two U.S. teams, when Auburn and Tulane played to a 7-7 tie. When Southern Miss defeated University of Havana, 55-0, in December 1946, it marked the final visit by an American college team to the island nation.

Salad Bowl (1948-55)

Wordpress Salad Bowl

Who can resist including the Salad Bowl on this list? The name is too good to pass up, though the same couldn’t be said of the game, which was played in Phoenix. The Salad Bowl really lasted only five years. In 1953-54, the bowl invited only service teams to play (i.e. teams from Fort Ord or San Diego Naval Training Center) and in 1955, it featured a game between All-Stars from the now non-existent Skyline and Border conferences.