|Little Caesars Pizza Bowl|
|(formerly Motor City Bowl)|
|Previous stadiums||Pontiac Silverdome (1997–2001)|
|Previous locations||Pontiac, Michigan (1997–2001)|
|Conference tie-ins||Big Ten, MAC|
Sun Belt (alternate)
|Payout||US$600,000 per team|
|Little Caesars, Ford, Chrysler, GM, UAW|
|Motor City Bowl (1998–2008)|
Ford Motor City Bowl (1997)
|Western Michigan vs. Purdue (Purdue 37-32)|
|Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky|
The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (known as the Motor City Bowl until 2009) is a post-season college football bowl game certified by the NCAA that has been played annually since 1997. The first five games (1997–2001) were played at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. Starting in 2002, the game was moved to 65,000-seat Ford Field in downtown Detroit, Michigan. Ford Field is home to the NFL's Detroit Lions, and played host to Super Bowl XL.
The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl features a bowl-eligible team from the Mid-American Conference (usually the winner of the MAC Championship Game, although that team is not required to accept the bid; prior to the formation of the bowl the MAC champion earned an automatic bid to the Las Vegas Bowl) playing a bowl-eligible team from the Big Ten Conference. If the Big Ten does not have an eligible team, the game will feature a team from the Sun Belt that meets the NCAA requirement of at least six wins. In the event that the Sun Belt does not have an available team, an at-large team can be chosen.
The game was jointly sponsored by the "Big Three" automakers in Detroit from 1998 to 2007 (Ford, General Motors and Chrysler). Starting with the 2008 game, Chrysler was replaced by the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights as a presenting sponsor. In 2009, Little Caesars became the title sponsor of the game after General Motors and Chrysler reorganized under bankruptcy protection. Ford remained as a sponsor.
In 2011, Ford, General Motors, Chrysler and the UAW are committing $100,000 together to become the presenting sponsor of the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field. Little Caesar Enterprises Inc. and its franchisees remain the title sponsor.
With the help of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Ford, General Motors and Little Caesars they hope to get the fifth Big Ten selection (they currently have the eighth selection) by petitioning the Big Ten Conference to allow it to get a higher pick before the current deal expires in 2014.
The then-named-Motor City Bowl marked the first bowl game held in the Detroit area since the Cherry Bowl in 1984–85. It is the only Division I college bowl game played in the Midwest United States.
The 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, played December 26, 2009, matched the Ohio Bobcats of the Mid-American Conference against the Marshall Thundering Herd of Conference USA.
On April 12, 2010, it was announced that the Big Ten Conference has extended its affiliation with the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (Big Ten No.8) through the 2013 season. Also the Sun Belt Conference and the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl have agreed to a secondary tie-in that will allow a Sun Belt Conference team to play in the Detroit based game should the Big Ten Conference not have an available bowl-eligible team to play.
The 2010 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl game, the Big Ten did not have enough teams to fill the slot and the MAC champion Miami-Ohio chose to play in the GoDaddy.com Bowl; the bowl chose the MAC's third place team, Toledo, and the Sun Belt's conference champion Florida International; Florida International won giving the university its first ever bowl win.
ESPN has televised the game since its inception.
|Date||Winning team||Losing team||Attendance||Game|
|December 26, 1997||Mississippi||34||Marshall||31||43,340||Game article|
|December 23, 1998||Marshall||48||Louisville||29||38,016||Game article|
|December 27, 1999||Marshall||21||BYU||3||52,449||Game article|
|December 27, 2000||Marshall||25||Cincinnati||14||52,911||Game article|
|December 29, 2001||Toledo||23||Cincinnati||16||44,164||Game article|
|December 26, 2002||Boston College||51||Toledo||25||45,761||Game article|
|December 26, 2003||Bowling Green||28||Northwestern||24||51,286||Game article|
|December 27, 2004||Connecticut||39||Toledo||10||52,552||Game article|
|December 26, 2005||Memphis||38||Akron||31||45,801||Game article|
|December 26, 2006||Central Michigan||31||Middle Tennessee||14||54,113||Game article|
|December 26, 2007||Purdue||51||Central Michigan||48||60,624||Game article|
|December 26, 2008||Florida Atlantic||24||Central Michigan||21||41,399||Game article|
|December 26, 2009||Marshall||21||Ohio||17||30,331||Game article|
|December 26, 2010||FIU||34||Toledo||32||32,431||Game article|
|December 27, 2011||Purdue||37||Western Michigan||32||46,177||Game article|
|December 26, 2012||Central Michigan||24||Western Kentucky||21||23,310||Game article|
|2002||Brian St. Pierre||Boston College||QB|
|2003||Josh Harris||Bowling Green||QB|
|2006||Dan LeFevour||Central Michigan||QB|
|2008||Rusty Smith||Florida Atlantic||QB|
|2010||T. Y. Hilton||FIU||WR|
|2012||Ryan Radcliff||Central Michigan||QB|
Wins by conference
- "Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Sponsors and Sponsorship Opportunities". Littlecaesarspizzabowl.com. http://littlecaesarspizzabowl.com/Sponsors/tabid/71/Default.aspx. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- [dead link]
- Connecticut received the bid to play in this game as the Big Ten did not field enough teams to qualify for this game.
- Memphis replaced the Big Ten and Big East teams as they did not have enough teams to qualify for this game.
- The Big Ten did not have enough bowl-eligible teams to fulfill their obligation to qualify for this game, so Middle Tennessee filled the Big Ten's spot.