Could two more bowl games be added to the slate in 2015?
With the deadline to apply for new bowl game certification with the NCAA approaching on Wednesday, ESPN’s Brett McMurphy is reporting that two cities – Tucson, Ariz., and Little Rock, Ark., – are looking to potentially host a game this upcoming season.
Tucson is expected to officially apply with the NCAA on Tuesday and Little Rock, per McMurphy, has “strong interest” in adding a game as officials are “finalizing plans” to formally apply. The NCAA would then make its decision within a few weeks.
The deadline to apply for new bowl certification with the NCAA is Wednesday, and the organization will decide whether to approve a game a few weeks later. According to sources, if a bowl has two conferences to support it and can get a television network to show the game, the bowl is usually approved by the NCAA.
The bowl in Tucson, which is tentatively titled “the Arizona Bowl,” would feature Mountain West and Conference USA teams and would take place at the University of Arizona. Alan Young, the CEO for the Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission, told McMurphy that the game would “likely be played between Christmas and early January” and could be aired on Fox Sports or CBS Sports Network. If it comes to fruition, the Arizona Bowl would be the first bowl game in Tucson since 1999.
Elsewhere, the bowl in Little Rock would feature a matchup between American Athletic Conference and Sun Belt opponents. It would be played at War Memorial Stadium and aired on either CBS Sports Network or NBC Sports Network, per McMurphy.
If the NCAA approves two new games in Tucson and Little Rock, that would increase the total number of bowl games to 42, including the College Football Playoff title game.
McMurphy also included another interesting tidbit that the Pac-12 had “exploratory discussions” about a bowl in Melbourne, Australia, for the 2016 season.
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