August 20, 2013
Gildan New Mexico Bowl Creates Deal With Conference USA
Regional selection from league over six years will commence in 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The Gildan New Mexico Bowl and ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, announced today an agreement with Conference USA, in which a C-USA team will play in the Albuquerque, N.M. based game starting in 2014, pending approval by the NCAA licensing committee. The Gildan New Mexico Bowl will feature a regional selection from C-USA six times in the six-year deal.
“We are looking forward to this new deal with Conference USA,” said Jeff Siembieda, Gildan New Mexico Bowl Executive Director. “The schools, markets and fan bases will bring a lot of excitement to our event. It is great for Albuquerque, for New Mexico and for the Gildan New Mexico Bowl to be able to showcase our game to a new group of fan bases, who we expect, will bring an enthusiastic crowd and fun teams to our state.”
Conference USA, which is currently comprised of 14 football members filling out two regional divisions, will have a different line-up in 2014. Currently, the league is made up of East Carolina, FIU, Florida Atlantic, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss and UAB in the East and Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Rice, Tulane, Tulsa, UTEP and UT SA in the West. Old Dominion, a non-football member for 2013, and Western Kentucky will begin conference play in 2014 and Charlotte, also a current league non-football member, in 2015 but loses East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa after the 2013 season.
“Conference USA is pleased to be a part of the Gildan New Mexico Bowl for the next several years,” said C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky. “Albuquerque is an exciting destination and our schools will enjoy a great bowl trip there each year.”
The conference is no stranger to the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, sending UTEP in 2010 as an at-large bid to take on then-Mountain West member, BYU. The game resulted in the Cougars favor, 52-24, and was the second-largest crowd in the Bowl’s history at 32,424, thanks to the thousands of Miner fans who made the short trip up to Albuquerque.
The 2013 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, featuring a representative from the Mountain West and Pac-12, will be played on Saturday, Dec. 21 at noon MT/2 p.m. (ET) at University Stadium on the University of New Mexico campus. The game, which kicks off the FBS postseason, will be televised nationally on ESPN and ESPN Radio.