SAN DIEGO–The San Diego Bowl Game Association board of directors voted to amend its focus and produce just one post-season college football game in 2017: The Holiday Bowl. The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl played its final game in 2016 after a 12-year run.
“College football and the bowl game structure has gone through major changes through the years and our board feels the time is right to focus our efforts on one post-season game,” said Mark Neville, executive director of the San Diego Bowl Game Association. “The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl staged exciting match-ups for more than a decade and we were one of the few cities to host two bowl games.”
Discussions are also underway with the San Diego Padres about playing the Holiday Bowl at Petco Park in the event Qualcomm Stadium closes after 2018.
“The Holiday Bowl brings tourism, economic activity and pride to San Diego year after year. Focusing resources on just one event will ensure that the Holiday Bowl remains a top-tier attraction,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “I am excited to have started discussions this week with the Bowl Game Association and the Padres about the possibility of bringing the Holiday Bowl to Petco Park. We remain fully committed to supporting this fantastic game.”
The Padres have already started talking to the architectural firm that designed Petco Park about what would be required to allow football to be played in the stadium.
“For now we plan to continue producing the Holiday Bowl and its one-of-a-kind fan experience in Qualcomm Stadium,” said Neville. “However, Petco Park could one day serve as the ideal home for the Holiday Bowl. It’s certainly a tremendous venue with world-class amenities that our fans would enjoy.”
The Holiday Bowl matches top teams from the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences, and in 2017 the game will celebrate its 40th anniversary.
“Our region sees the value in keeping the Holiday Bowl in San Diego and I applaud the San Diego Bowl Game Association’s tough, but smart decision to focus its energies on one bowl game, the Holiday Bowl,” said San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts.
“It’s clear that the focus should be on the popular and lucrative Holiday Bowl. I am grateful for the combined teamwork and effort by regional leaders to ensure the continued success of the Holiday Bowl that brings in much needed tourism dollars into the city’s coffers,” said San Diego City Councilmember Scott Sherman.
In addition to the Holiday Bowl, the San Diego Bowl Game Association will host the annual Navy versus Notre Dame rivalry game at Qualcomm Stadium on October 27, 2018. The game represents college football’s oldest intersectional rivalry and will be the first time Notre Dame plays in San Diego.
Neville stated the San Diego Bowl Game Association will explore hosting more high-profile intersectional rivalry games in the future.