Where is the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl?

The Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl is a college football bowl game that has been played annually since 2017 in Frisco, Texas. The game pits a team from the American Athletic Conference against an at-large opponent and takes place at the Toyota Stadium, home of MLS club FC Dallas.

When and Where is the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl Played?

As mentioned, the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl takes place every year in Frisco, Texas at the Toyota Stadium. The stadium opened in 2005 and has a seating capacity of 20,500 for football games. It is located about 30 miles north of downtown Dallas.

The inaugural Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl was played on December 20, 2017. Since then, the game has typically been scheduled in mid-to-late December each year, often serving as one of the first college bowl games during bowl season.

Here are the details on when and where past and future Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowls have or will be played:

Year Date Location
2017 December 20, 2017 Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
2018 December 19, 2018 Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
2019 December 20, 2019 Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
2020 December 21, 2020 Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
2021 December 21, 2021 Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
2022 December 17, 2022 Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
2023 December 16, 2023 Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX

As seen above, the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl has taken place in mid-to-late December every year at Toyota Stadium in Frisco since its inaugural game in 2017.

What Conference Does the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl Host?

The Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl has a tie-in with the American Athletic Conference (AAC). This means that one of the teams in the game will come from the AAC each year.

The American Athletic Conference, sometimes referred to as The American, is a Division I FBS college athletic conference consisting of 12 member institutions located mainly in urban metropolitan areas in the Eastern United States. Some of the schools in the conference include UCF, Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Tulane, and more.

So in each Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl, the AAC will provide one of the teams to compete in the game. The other team in the game is selected “at-large” meaning it can come from any conference around the country.

Past AAC Teams in the Bowl

Here is a look back at the AAC teams that have competed in past Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowls:

Year AAC Team
2017 SMU
2018 Temple
2019 UCF
2020 Tulsa
2021 SMU
2022 UCF

As the table shows, SMU, Temple, UCF, Tulsa and SMU again have represented the AAC in the first six editions of the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl.

Who Have Been Past Teams and Matchups in the Bowl Game?

Now let’s take a look at the full matchups and results from past Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowls:

Year AAC Team Score At-Large Opponent Score
2017 SMU 51 Louisiana Tech 10
2018 Temple 45 Duke 56
2019 UCF 48 Marshall 25
2020 Tulsa 26 Mississippi State 28
2021 SMU 42 BYU 24
2022 UCF 29 Ole Miss 27

As shown above, SMU, UCF, and Tulsa have winning records in the bowl game as AAC representatives, while Temple lost a close one to Duke in 2018. The at-large opponents have come from various conferences like Conference USA, the SEC, and Independent BYU.

Who Sponsors and Broadcasts the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl?

There are a few key companies and television networks that are involved in sponsoring and broadcasting the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl each year:


The bowl game’s title sponsor is Tropical Smoothie Cafe, a national fast casual restaurant franchise known for smoothies, sandwiches, wraps, and more. They signed a multi-year deal in 2020 to be the title sponsor after previously just sponsoring the ESPN radio broadcast.

Other sponsors include Visit Frisco, a convention and visitors bureau, and Kanakuk Kamps, a Christian sports camp company.


The Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl TV broadcast rights belong to ESPN. The game airs nationally on ESPN and ESPN Deportes each year.

The radio broadcast rights belong to ESPN Radio, which airs the game nationwide on their various stations.

So in summary, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Visit Frisco, Kanakuk Kamps, ESPN Network, and ESPN Radio are the major companies and partners involved in making the bowl game happen each year.

What is the Payout and Ticket Prices for the Bowl Game?

There are financial benefits for the teams and conferences that participate in the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl each year.

Team Payouts

Similar to other college bowl games, the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl provides a payout to each team that participates. This payout comes from the overall revenue generated through sponsorships, ticket sales, TV rights, etc.

The estimated team payout for the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl is $350,000 per team as of the 2017 game. This payout amount is often split between the participating team’s conference.

While not as lucrative as some of the major New Year’s Six bowl games, the $350,000 payout is a nice reward, especially for smaller conference teams who may not regularly receive bowl invites and payouts.

Ticket Prices

For fans wishing to attend the game live, ticket prices vary based on seat location. Here are the typical ticket price levels:

  • Endzone or Upper Corner – $15
  • Upper Sideline – $25
  • Lower Sideline – $40
  • Club Level – $50+

Of course, prices can fluctuate each year depending on demand. But in general, bowl game tickets directly from the stadium range from $15 on the cheap end to $50+ for lower sideline or club seats.

What Are the Bowl Game’s Tie-Ins and Selection Process?

We know the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl has a tie-in with the American Athletic Conference to provide one team each year. But how does the at-large team get selected?

The at-large spot goes through a selection process ahead of each game:

  • Certain conferences like C-USA, Sun Belt, MAC and MW can qualify for the at-large bid if they have available bowl-eligible teams.
  • The Frisco Bowl selection committee then reviews eligible teams and chooses the one they feel is the best matchup against that year’s AAC team.
  • Geographic proximity and being an regional “underdog” are factors the committee considers when selecting the at-large team.

This selection process helps create competitive and regional matchups each year in the bowl game. For example, nearby opponents like Louisiana Tech, SMU, BYU, Tulsa, and Ole Miss have previously filled the at-large spot.

What is the Bowl’s Impact on the City of Frisco?

Hosting the annual Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl provides a few benefits for the city of Frisco, Texas:

  • Brings in tourism and visitor spending revenue around the game each year. Frisco hotels, restaurants, shops, and attractions see increased business.
  • Provides national exposure for Frisco by having the game televised annually on ESPN networks.
  • Contributes funding for Frisco youth sports programs and fields through sponsorship dollars.
  • Gives the city another marquee annual event at Toyota Stadium to attract visitors.

City leaders in Frisco have cited these types of tourism, economic, and social benefits as reasons for partnering with ESPN Events to host the college bowl game each year. The Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl has quickly become a staple annual event for the rapidly growing Dallas suburb.

Who are the Most Valuable Players in Frisco Bowl History?

Let’s take a quick look at the outstanding players who have been honored as MVP in the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl’s past six editions:

Year MVP Team Position Stats
2017 Justin Hobbs Tulsa WR 3 rec, 85 yards, 1 TD
2018 Will Harris Boston College DB 11 tackles, 1.5 TFL
2019 Gabriel Davis UCF WR 6 rec, 105 yards, 3 TD
2020 Will Rogers Miss State QB 24/37, 280 yards, 4 TDs
2021 Rashee Rice SMU WR 7 rec, 139 yards, 1 TD
2022 Isaiah Bowser UCF RB 21 carries, 155 yards, 2 TDs

Offensive skill players like receivers and running backs have claimed 4 of the 6 MVP awards so far, with a quarterback and defensive back also being honored.

What are the Most Exciting Frisco Bowl Games So Far?

Here is a subjective look at 3 of the most exciting and memorable Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl games over the first 6 editions:

  1. 2017: SMU 51, Louisiana Tech 10 – SMU’s huge blowout win in the inaugural Frisco Bowl stands out as they scored 44 first half points and rolled up 512 total yards of offense. It was a dominating performance.
  2. 2018: Duke 56, Temple 45 – This high-scoring shootout saw over 1,000 yards of combined offense. Temple led most of the way before Duke rallied late for the wild comeback victory.
  3. 2022: UCF 29, Ole Miss 27 – In a back-and-forth affair, UCF stopped a potential game-winning 2-point conversion by Ole Miss with under 5 minutes left to preserve the upset victory.

Based on lopsided scores, frantic finishes, and upset wins, the 2017, 2018, and 2022 editions stand out as the most exciting Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowls so far.


The Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl has quickly become a staple for college football fans during bowl season since kicking off in 2017. The bowl game takes place annually in mid-December at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

The American Athletic Conference has tied in to provide one team every year, resulting in past appearances from SMU, Temple, UCF, Tulsa and more. At-large teams like Louisiana Tech, BYU, Duke, Marshall, and Ole Miss have filled the other spot.

ESPN broadcasts the Frisco Bowl each year while Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Visit Frisco, and others sponsor the event. The game provides financial payouts to teams and showcases the city of Frisco nationally.

With its ties to the AAC, regional matchups, and growing tradition, the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl has become a must-watch game for college football fans each bowl season.

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