VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. --- The Virginia Beach Sportsplex, in conjunction with the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) and The Apprentice School, announced the first-ever Virginia Beach Neptune Bowl on Monday. The Apprentice School Builders will host a highly-ranked ODAC team in the inaugural contest. The game will be played on Saturday, November 23, with kickoff set for 2:00PM.
"The Virginia Beach Neptune Bowl was created and is intended to promote the continued importance of Division III football as an opportunity for the student athletes to keep playing, while receiving an education and job training for their lives after school and football," said Chuck Thornton, co-founder of Hometown Sports Management, the company promoting the game. "Along with the teams, the ODAC and their schools, it will also showcase the City of Virginia Beach and the state of Virginia as a year-round, first-class sports destination for an array of sports."
ODAC Commissioner Brad Bankston expressed the following, "We are honored to partner with Virginia Beach and Newport News Apprentice in this unique football bowl game. We believe the postseason experience for our student athletes is an important part of their college experience and the coaches have been very supportive of establishing an additional opportunity for our member institutions. We are extremely grateful to the City of Virginia Beach, the Neptune Bowl and the Apprentice School for their work in planning this exciting opportunity and we look forward to showcasing the best of small college football in the nationally recognized 757 window."
Apprentice Director of Athletics, Michael W. Allen states, "We are excited to enter into this new partnership with the prestigious Old Dominion Athletic Conference and the City of Virginia Beach. As participants in the inaugural Neptune Bowl, it helps us accomplish two things. One, it will provide a postseason opportunity for our apprentice-athletes that they traditionally have not had. Secondly, it allows us to continue to promote who The Apprentice School is and what opportunities we have to offer. There is no doubt that the Neptune Bowl allows us to accomplish both of our goals."
"I second Commissioner Brad Bankston's thoughts on expanding postseason opportunities for our student athletes," noted Mike Clark, head coach at Bridgewater College and chair of the ODAC's football coaches committee. Clark is also the longest tenured head coach in Virginia, entering his 25th season as the Eagles' mentor. "There is a great world of college football that is not on ESPN and we look forward to bringing it to this event."
It was also announced that the DoubleTree by Hilton-Virginia Beach (ODAC) and the Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront (TAS), both Harmony Hospitality properties, will serve as official Host Hotel partners of the Virginia Beach Neptune Bowl. Each hotel will provide a block of rooms at competitive rates for any out-of-town guests travelling and staying in Virginia Beach for the Neptune Bowl.
General Admission tickets for the first annual Virginia Beach Neptune Bowl will go on sale on Monday, July 8. Club Suites, Tailgate and Group tickets for groups of 20 or more will also be available for the game. For information on tickets, corporate packages, branding and activation opportunities, contact Dennis McEwen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-427-2990.
About Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC)
The Old Dominion Athletic Conference (abbr. ODAC) was founded in 1975 as the Virginia College Conference. On January 1, 1976, the name was changed to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The ODAC is an NCAA Division III athletic conference. Of its 15 member schools, all but one are located in Virginia; the other full member is in North Carolina. The conference also has two associate members in North Carolina and Virginia.
About The Apprentice School
The Apprentice School – founded in 1919 at Newport News Shipbuilding – is the preeminent apprenticeship program in the nation, offering four to eight year apprenticeships. Since 1919, over 10,000 graduates have earned their certificate of trade in one of nineteen shipbuilding disciplines or eight advanced programs of study. As a recognized institution by the NCAA, the Builders are full-time members of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association and have been competing athletically with other colleges for 100 years.
About Virginia Beach Sportsplex
The Virginia Beach Sportsplex is a sports complex in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The name is most commonly attached to the main stadium within the complex, which opened in 1998. The facility is city owned and operated and managed by Hometown Sports Management. It has a permanent seating capacity of 6,000, on two decks of seating, with six club suites on a third floor. The Sportsplex can be expanded upwards to 17,000 for football games or any other outdoor sporting event. It was the first soccer-specific stadium built from the ground up in the United States. The Sportsplex is located in the Princess Anne Commons corridor of the city, across the street from the Princess Anne Athletic Complex and near the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater.
About Harmony Hospitality
Harmony Hospitality, Inc. was established January 1, 2007, by Mark F. Garcea, Page S. Johnson, II, and Harvey L. Moore to manage the hotel properties of Harmony Investments, Inc. Harmony Investments was founded by Garcea and Johnson in 1993 with a focus to acquire and manage commercial and industrial real estate properties. The portfolio quickly grew to include office buildings, shopping centers, residential apartments, sports franchises, and hotels. Most notably, the company has owned the Hampton Roads Mariners professional soccer team and the Hampton Roads Admirals hockey club, and still maintains partial ownership in the Norfolk Tides baseball club. Garcea and Johnson were instrumental in bringing to fruition the building of the Virginia Beach Sportsplex soccer stadium.
J.J Nekoloff, Associate Commissioner
(540) 389-7373 ext. 2
Bethany Dannelly, Dir. of Championships
(540) 389-7373 ext. 3
The Apprentice School
Michael Allen, Dir. of Athletics
Virginia Beach Sportsplex
DoubleTree by Hilton-Virginia Beach
Link for room reservations:
VB Neptune Bowl rooms at DoubleTree by Hilton-Virginia Beach
Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Link for room reservations:
VB Neptune Bowl rooms at Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront