April 28, 2010
The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl is set to kick off the eighth edition of the postseason college football bowl game Thursday, Dec. 30, at noon ET.
This marks the first time in the bowl’s history that the game will be played on Dec. 30, as the game has been played on Dec. 31 for the previous three years. Before joining the New Year’s Eve schedule in 2007, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl was played before Christmas, on Dec. 23.
The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be nationally televised live on ESPN. This year’s matchup is slated to feature schools from Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference.
“We are pleased to be kicking off on Dec. 30,” said Brant B. Ringler, executive director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. “We look forward to delivering a great bowl week so that everyone involved enjoys their experience, and we have some exciting things in store this year.”
This season would mark the seventh appearance for one of C-USA’s 12 institutions in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. The conference has a 2-4 bowl record at Amon G. Carter Stadium, including Cincinnati’s 2004 win over Marshall and Houston’s win over Air Force in 2008. The nine-school MWC is 2-2, as Utah beat Tulsa in the conference’s first appearance in 2006 and Air Force defeated Houston in 2009. Other conferences that have played in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl comprise the Pac-10, Big 12, Mid-American and Western Athletic conferences.
In the event that either C-USA or the MWC completes the regular season with an open spot amongst its contractual bowl commitments, the 2010 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will feature the United States Military Academy per a recent agreement between the bowl and the Academy. Should the open spot materialize for either conference, the Black Knights must have six wins before their annual game with Navy in order to be bowl eligible.
Owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl has featured a military theme since 2006. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the military are prevalent throughout the game. Past Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest areas showcasing military hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military’s top skydiving teams; on-field induction ceremonies; military bands and honor guards; and the awarding of the annual “Great American Patriot Award” (GAPA) presented by Armed Forces Insurance. In 2009, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, accepted the GAPA at half-time on behalf of the men and women of the armed forces. Previous recipients include General David H. Petraeus, Preston “Pete” Geren and Gordon England.
Ticket information for the 2010 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be released later this month. Military veterans receive discounted tickets and active-duty personnel receive free admittance via the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl corporate military ticket underwriting program. For more information, visit the bowl’s official website: http://www.armedforcesbowl.com/.
ESPN Regional Television/Event Ownership
The nation’s largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, ESPN Regional Television (ERT) annually produces more than 1,000 telecasts of sporting events. Programming includes football, basketball, NCAA events, golf and NHRA events accounting for more than 2,200 live and/or original hours of programming. In addition to event ownership, ERT is the production headquarters for ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network; syndication rights-holder and producer of national, regional and local shows for college conferences (e.g. – SEC, BIG EAST, Big 12, Mid-American, WAC).
ESPN Regional Television markets and/or owns several sporting events, including collegiate football events: the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg; Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, Texas); MAACO Bowl Las Vegas; New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Papajohns.com Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.); Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Texas Bowl (Houston); the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); and The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards; collegiate basketball events: the 76 Classic (Anaheim, Calif.); Cancun Governor’s Cup; Charleston Classic (S.C.); DIRECTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational; Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Old Spice Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Puerto Rico Tipoff (San Juan); SONIC All-College Basketball Classic (Oklahoma City) and BracketBusters; as well as the new ESPNU Warrior Classic (Lacrosse) and the ESPN National Golf Challenge presented by Callaway. For more information, visit ESPNPlus.com.