Allstate Sugar Bowl to aid pandemic relief effort with $500,000 contribution

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Allstate Sugar Bowl
(Photo: Parker Waters)

NEW ORLEANS – The Sugar Bowl Committee, which has been a part of the fabric of New Orleans since the organization’s inception in 1934, has announced a $500,000 donation to multiple local organizations working to alleviate the challenges of the current COVID-19 crisis.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl’s donation will go to assist the Second Harvest Food Bank, the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Service and Hospitality Family Assistance Fund and the Hospitality Cares Pandemic Response Fund (managed by United Way of Southeastern Louisiana).

“For decades, the Sugar Bowl has taken great pride as a good citizen of our local community,” said Sugar Bowl Committee President Ralph Capitelli. “This organization’s primary mission is to generate tourism through amateur athletics. With the Covid-19 outbreak we’re temporarily on hold, but that doesn’t mean we can sit on the sidelines. With this donation, our aim is to help people in need, especially those in the hospitality industry whose livelihoods have been so negatively impacted by the Coronavirus.”

Second Harvest Food Bank is the largest charitable anti-hunger network in South Louisiana. Its mission is to end hunger by providing food, access, advocacy, education and disaster response. The Service and Hospitality Family Assistance Fund of the Greater New Orleans Foundation is a program providing grants for service and hospitality workers whose families are experiencing financial crisis due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The Hospitality Cares Pandemic Relief Fund of the United Way of Southeastern Louisiana provides crisis grants to hospitality workers who are unable to afford basic financial needs during the Covid-19 outbreak.

“United Way of Southeast Louisiana is grateful for the Sugar Bowl Committee’s contribution to our Hospitality Cares Pandemic Response Fund as it further demonstrates the committee’s longstanding dedication to the betterment of our community,” said Michael Williamson, President and CEO, United Way of Southeastern Louisiana. “The support will improve the well-being of 200 families across our region – for that, we are forever thankful.”

“We are so excited that the Allstate Sugar Bowl, an annual supporter of our Foundation, was able to help increase the impact of the Hospitality Cares fund,” said Jennifer Kelley, Executive Director, Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, which works in conjunction with the United Way of Southeastern Louisiana. “This gift shows their passion to support our hospitality workforce that has been displaced from their jobs due to the pandemic.”

“This incredible gift of love will help us provide 1.2 million emergency meals to our neighbors in need,” Natalie Jayroe, President and CEO of Second Harvest said. “During this response, we’ve had to purchase more food than ever before. Once again, this shows that sports is so much more than just a game to New Orleans and South Louisiana.”

The Sugar Bowl actually got its start during another nation-wide crisis. In the heart of the Great Depression, a group of local leaders came together to form a midwinter carnival of sporting events, including a football game, to give a boost to the economy of New Orleans and the surrounding region. Since its start, the Sugar Bowl Committee has continued its original mission. For 86 years, it has given a major economic boost to the city and state and in the last decade has been responsible for over $2.7 billion of economic impact.

In addition to the Allstate Sugar Bowl football game every New Year’s Day, the Sugar Bowl is responsible for many other events throughout the year – the Bowl hosts or sponsors over 50 events on an annual basis. The Sugar Bowl also works with the city and other local organizations to secure major events for New Orleans – events like the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four and the College Football Playoff National Championship that the city hosted this past January. The Sugar Bowl contributed $8 million of its money to ensure that Louisiana had the opportunity to host that tremendously successful event. While final economic numbers aren’t available at this time, it is expected that will be another boost to the region measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 96 Hall of Fame players, 50 Hall of Fame coaches and 18 Heisman Trophy winners in its 86-year history. The 87th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, which will double as a College Football Playoff Semifinal, is scheduled for January 1, 2021. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors nearly 100,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.7 billion into the local economy in the last decade. For more information, visit

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