The date for the 2018 Independence Bowl has been announced. This year's game will take place on Thursday, December 27th, with a kickoff set for 12:30pm Central Time.

On the surface, this appears to be an upgrade from the last couple of years. In 2016 the game was on Monday December 26th, and in 2017 the game was Wednesday December 27th. Being on a Thursday is effectively an upgrade.

The game is still the week of Christmas, something ESPN will probably never change, but the game will be a Thursday, and on the backside of the holiday. Getting it further away from traditional holiday travel days.

According to the press release today, the game will be on the ESPN Flagship station, marking the 27th straight year the game will be on the ESPN Network. The release also confirmed that the relationship between the Bowl game and their conference partners will continue. The game will feature primary agreements with the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Southeastern Conference, with secondary agreements with the American Athletic Conference and Conference USA.

Last year's Indy Bowl stats were also included in the release. Here's how the game performed:

"the 2017 matchup between Southern Miss and Florida State, which featured a total live audience of nearly 2.5 million people; a 76 percent increase from 2016. The 2017 game also saw an increase in attendance of more than 4,600 tickets sold."