Four cities applied to the NCAA for new bowls and three were granted. Austin, TX, Orlando, FL, and Tucson, AZ were approved for post-season games. Both new Austin and Orlando bowls will match teams from the American Athletic Conference against teams from the Sun Belt Conference.
But the new bowl in Tucson, first reported here, should be of major interest to Mountain West fans. The tentatively named Arizona Bowl, is expected to be held at the University of Arizona's Stadium (56,029), and will feature teams from the Mountain West and Conference USA. Should either conference be unable to fill their side of the game, the Mid-American Conference is being considered to furnish a backup team, a source said.
The new bowl will give the Mountain West Conference seven bowl tie-ins for 12 teams in 2015.
The new Arizona Bowl is scheduled this year for December 29 and expected to be televised on CBS Sports Network. It will mark the first bowl game in Tucson since 1999 when the old Insight.com Bowl was played there. That bowl game, which is now named the Cactus Bowl, is currently played at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.
No word yet on sponsors or the expected payout. "Our concept is to get a title sponsor and a TV network to be our partners and allow everyone in the Tucson community a chance to be part of the game," Tucson attorney Ali Farhang who started the process more than a year ago told the Arizona Daily Star earlier this week. "The Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission has taken a lead on a lot of the components, contacting CBS and Fox Sports and reaching out to potential title sponsors."
The new bowl additions brings a record 42 bowl games this next season requiring 82 of the 127 FBS teams to fill the bowls.
* for 2015 and 2019 the MWC will play in either the Las Vegas or Hawai'i Bowl but not both.