Hokies Headed to Belk Bowl on Dec. 29 in Charlotte

BLACKSBURG – Justin Fuente will make his bowl debut as Virginia Tech’s head coach as the Hokies make their first-ever appearance in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte on Dec. 29. Tech’s current bowl streak of 24 consecutive seasons is the longest active streak recognized by the NCAA. The Hokies (9-4) will take on Arkansas (7-5) from the Southeastern Conference. Kickoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. at Bank of America Stadium, home of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. The matchup will mark the first time that the Hokies have ever met the Razorbacks.

“Our fans have been fabulous all season, and I know Hokie Nation will be anxious to join us in Charlotte for the Belk Bowl,” Fuente said. “As I told the team after last night’s game, our seniors deserve to end their careers out on a positive note. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to this senior class and our staff will do everything possible to prepare our squad to face a quality foe like Arkansas.

“Coach Beamer and his teams built Virginia Tech into the nation’s most consistent postseason participant and we appreciate the standard we’re expected to uphold. For myself, these seniors and this entire squad, we felt an obligation to extend Coach Beamer’s bowl streak. Now, our objective is to prepare and play to the best of our ability to conclude this season with a victory. I can’t thank Hokie Nation enough for their unwavering support and our team looks forward to seeing the stands packed with Maroon and Orange in Charlotte.”

Charlotte is a convenient destination for Virginia Tech fans, located a short 175-mile drive from Blacksburg. Tickets to the Belk Bowl are on sale now and can be purchased through the Virginia Tech Athletics Ticket Office here: http://vthoki.es/Bowl16Tix. For more information on bowl tickets, please call the ticket office at (540) 231-6731 or toll-free at 1-800 VA TECH4 (1-800-828-3244).

All Hokie Club members who pre-ordered tickets through the postseason ticket ordering process will have their requests fulfilled.

“It’s an honor to represent Virginia Tech and the Atlantic Coast Conference in the Belk Bowl,” Director of Athletics Whit Babcock said. “We’re hopeful that Hokies from across the country will join us to cheer on our team and this fabulous group of senior student-athletes. Few fan bases in America are as passionate and dedicated as Hokies fans. I know how much Coach Fuente and our team appreciate the boost Virginia Tech fans have provided all season.”

Tech has won three of its past four bowls, closing out Frank Beamer’s career with a thrilling 55-52 victory in the 2015 Camping World Independence Bowl over Tulsa. Tech’s current bowl streak began with a 45-20 win over Indiana in the 1993 Independence Bowl, one most remembered for a defensive and a special teams touchdown in the first half. The Hokies last met in SEC foe in the postseason in the 2009 Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta as Virginia Tech registered a 37-14 victory over Tennessee.

“We are very excited to welcome Arkansas and Virginia Tech to the 2016 Belk Bowl,” said Will Webb, Belk Bowl Executive Director. “The Razorbacks and Hokies have each enjoyed a great season, and they should have an exciting, competitive game on the field. Both teams have tremendous, enthusiastic fans that should make the 2016 Belk Bowl very memorable. We look forward to hosting the teams and their fans in Charlotte!”

“College football is always exciting, and this year’s season didn’t disappoint with big surprises that kept fans on our toes week to week,” said Lisa Harper, CEO of Belk. “We’re thrilled to have Arkansas and Virginia Tech join us at the Belk Bowl on Dec. 29 and can’t wait to welcome all football fans to Charlotte for an exciting matchup of these two great schools.”

Fans MUST purchase a Belk Bowl game ticket or Super Fan Package to be eligible to attend the Tim McGraw concert inside BB&T Ballpark. Concert vouchers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be given out only to the first 10,000 fans that show their official Belk Bowl game tickets at the BB&T Ballpark Ticket Office during the two redemption days. The redemption days are Wednesday, Dec. 28 from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 29 from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. Please note there are limited quantities of concert vouchers available each day.

The bowl selection process was agreed upon by the league’s member schools and its bowl partners. The process includes parameters to be followed by the bowls as they are selecting the representatives from the ACC.

As it relates to team records, the parameters state that for the Tier One bowls (Sun, Belk, Pinstripe, Taxslayer), a team that has two or more wins than another must be selected by a Tier One Bowl in order for the team with two fewer wins to be considered.

For more information on the bowl, please visit the Belk Bowl’s website at www.belkbowl.com .

For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter and on Instagram @vthokiefootball Instagram