Florida Citrus Sports Chief Executive Officer Steve Hogan announced today that the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl will be played at 8:00 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday, December 29. The game, the first of two bowls hosted in Orlando, will air nationwide on ESPN. In addition, the NCAA Football Issues Committee extended licensing for both the Champs Sports Bowl and the New Years Day-stalwart Capital One Bowl.
The Champs Sports Bowl and Capital One Bowl were among 34 bowls whose applications were licensed for 2009-10. While the NCAA does not administer or operate bowl games, there is a need for NCAA authorization and regulation to protect student-athlete safety and well-being, thus creating a need for a postseason bowl licensing process. Bowls regularly benefit sponsoring communities, participating member schools and conferences and student-athletes, and they must be regulated to preserve these benefits.
“We are extremely grateful that the NCAA continues to allow our destination to participate in college football’s postseason,” said Hogan, “but the growing concerns about the condition of our stadium cloud negotiations for extending our games into the future.”
The postseason bowl licensing members of the NCAA Football Issues Committee are made up of one representative from each of the 11 Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conferences.
Hogan is one of several Orlando bowl representatives currently in Pasadena, Calif., for the annual Football Bowl Association (FBA) meetings. The status of Citrus Bowl stadium renovations has been amongst the most discussed topics between the FCSports group and conference partners and television executives. The announcement of a favorable game time for the Champs Sports Bowl had Hogan reacting positively.
“I am excited for Orlando that our games will be in prime television windows,” said FCSports CEO Steve Hogan. “Our tourism economy needs a shot in the arm and the bowls can help provide it through exposure and significant visitation to Orlando.”
The Champs Sports Bowl has continued to make great progress since moving to Orlando. Last year’s attendance figure of 52,692 continued the upward trend in attendance for the game for the seventh-consecutive year. That figure also marked the highest attendance since the game came to Central Florida in 2001 and the second-highest attendance in the history of the bowl (1990 Blockbuster Bowl, 74,021).
The bowl is in its fourth year of pairing upper-tier teams from the Atlantic Coast and the Big Ten conferences, the final year of its contract with both leagues (its television contract is secured through 2013). The Capital One Bowl is in its final year for both its conference (SEC & Big Ten) contracts and its television agreement.