This year’s Orange Blossom Classic (OBC) will showcase the Alabama State University Hornets and North Carolina Central University Eagles at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Sunday, Sept. 1.
“The Orange Blossom Classic has always been a beacon of opportunity and unity in the HBCU community.” Kendra Bulluck, Executive Director of the OBC, shared her enthusiasm.
“This year, we present the talents of North Carolina Central University Eagles and Alabama State University Hornets, offering an exciting experience. We welcome both teams with open arms and are excited about the unique energy and competition they will bring to the classic.”
The 2024 OBC will be the first time since 2021 that Florida A&M and Jackson State University will not participate in the revived classic. For the last three seasons, the Orange Blossom Classic has featured the Rattlers and the Tigers. However, both teams have decided not to extend their participation this year.
Both NCCU and ASU Director of Athletics expressed their excitement following the announcement early this week.
“It’s very exciting to have NCCU football playing in the Orange Blossom Classic to kick off the 2024 season on Labor Day weekend,” Dr. Louis “Skip” Perkins, Director of Athletics at NCCU.
“The Orange Blossom Classic has a deep history with HBCUs from the MEAC and SWAC, and with Coach Oliver’s connections to both conferences, North Carolina Central University is proud to now take part in that tradition for an event that will bring both national exposure and scholarship fundraising to both our campus and HBCUs.
“Alabama State University Athletics is thrilled to be a part of the Denny’s Orange Blossom Classic (OBC) and its long-standing tradition,” Dr. Jason Cable, Director of Athletics at ASU.
“I want to thank Kendra Bulluck and the OBC committee for the invitation. This game enhances our overall student-athlete experience and gives our young men the opportunity of a lifetime, including national exposure and playing in a professional venue.
NCCU, under head coach Trei Oliver, has been one of the best HBCU football teams since winning the 2021 HBCU Football National Championship. The Eagles were a win away from repeating as the 2023 MEAC Football Champions, however earned a berth into the 2023 NCAA Division I-FCS Playoffs against Richmond.
Last season, Eddie Robinson Jr.’s ASU squad went 7-4 and were 2nd in the SWAC East behind Florida A&M. The Hornets signed dynamic quarterback Andrew Body via the NCAA Transfer portal. The 2024 OBC could become a preview of the 2024 Celebration Bowl.
About the Orange Blossom Classic
Founded in 1933 by the son of Florida A&M University’s president, J.R.E. Lee Jr. The Orange Blossom Classic quickly became the postseason’s must-see game. The inaugural Orange Blossom Classic welcomed 2,000 fans to the “blacks-only” ballpark in Jacksonville, Florida, where FAMU beat Howard 9-0 and successfully established the foundation of HBCU classics.
From 1933 -1978, the Orange Blossom Classic reigned supreme as the postseason’s premier HBCU classic event. After a 43-year hiatus, The Orange Blossom Classic made its return to Miami Gardens in 2021.
The OBC was re-established to enhance Historically Black Colleges & Universities’ exposure in the enriched community of Miami Gardens. It promises to attract thousands of fans, alumni, school members, and family members from these respected communities, highlighting interest in HBCUs and their roles in educating aspiring professionals and developing our future leaders.
With a goal to raise scholarship funds for the participating schools for years to come, the reinvigorated HBCU Football Classic will help to support the knowledge and experience offered by the discipline, commitment, and dedication it takes to be a Historically Black College & University student.
Pre-sale tickets for the 2024 Denny’s Orange Blossom Classic will be available exclusively from Feb. 2 to 4th for those members of OBC’s fan database. You can join by signing up at www.orangeblossomclassic.com. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Feb. 5. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of this historic event.