By Leo Haggerty

Our photo-journalist, Trace Crisp, and I were invited to attend a May 22nd press conference at the Outback Steakhouse establishment located at 4302 West Boy Scout Boulevard.  It was at that gathering that Outback Bowl officials announced long-time Title Sponsor Outback Steakhouse has agreed to extend its contract with the New Year’s Day Bowl for six more years.  That will encompass another seven years through the January 2026 game.

It was also announced that over the next seven games the Outback Bowl will contribute $45 million to universities and donate at least $3.5 million to charities through its Charitable Giving Initiative.  As the longest college bowl game title sponsor in history, the Tampa-based company’s extension will place its name sponsorship of the bowl out to a total of 31 years.

Trace will be posting three videos on the BREAKING NEWS platform under this column.  The first will be our interview with Gregg Scarlett.  Gregg is the President of Outback Steakhouse and that is already posted for your perusal.

On Thursday, Trace will post our second interview.  This one is with Ken Hagan who serves as a member of the Hillsborough County Commission.

On Sunday, Trace will post our final interview and, I know I’m a little bias here, but in my opinion we saved the best for last.  That’s because Jim McVay, who is the Outback Bowl CEO/President, is never at a loss for words or exuberance when it comes to talking about the Outback Bowl.  On this occasion, he went above-and-beyond his usual effervescence.

If you missed one of the interviews, not to worry.  You can go to the Archives and view at your leisure.

After the festivities, the entire press corp was treated to some great Outback Steakhouse food.  Plus, we had a personal meet-and-greet with restaurant Owner Davey M. James along with some superlative service from the always helpful wait staff.  If your in the area, the both of us highly recommend you stop into the Outback Steakhouse on Boy Scout for some outstanding Aussie grub.

Hope you enjoy the interviews as much as we enjoyed doing them.  Always a first-class operation when the the Outback Bowl is at the helm and this event was no exception.

Outback President Gregg Scarlett interviewed by Leo Haggerty:

Ken Hagan, member of the Hillsborough County Commission

CEO and President of the Outback Bowl, Jim McVay