The idea of holding a college football bowl game in the National Capital Region started innocently enough. As friends Marie Rudolph and Sean Metcalf met at a neighborhood restaurant, they saw television commercials promoting upcoming bowl games across the nation and wondered why the Washington area did not have a game of its own.
Rudolph and Metcalf researched requirements to host a bowl game. They sought opinions from local political, business and community leaders.
Though the initial response was lukewarm, the former D.C. government employees remained confident. They continued their outreach and used their connections to gain support and build interest. The DC Bowl Committee, Inc., was created in August 2008.
The committee aimed to align the game – first named the Congressional Bowl – with team and conference tie-ins. Rudolph and Metcalf met with officials from the United States Naval Academy, the United States Military Academy at West Point and the Atlantic Coast Conference, which all expressed interest. Soon after, the bowl signed a TV contract with ESPN.
After the DC Bowl Committee, Inc., attained an NCAA license, the Washington Convention and Sports Authority (now known as Events DC) joined the initiative as a partner, bringing the city’s support on a broader scale. In September 2008, Bethesda, Md.-based EagleBank signed on as the title sponsor and shortly thereafter the committee hired Steve Beck as President and Executive Director.
In October 2010, Northrop Grumman, a leading global security company based in Falls Church, Va., signed on as the bowl’s new title sponsor, bringing with it a partnership with the USO. The bowl was renamed the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman. The game moved to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis beginning with the 2013 game.