The new LA Bowl, the top bowl for the Mountain West Conference, has a sponsor.
No, not some random restaurant, regional retail store, or corporation nobody has ever heard of. This bowl game will be sponsored by a person, late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel.
The LA Bowl was supposed to debut last season but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mountain West champion, or the next highest-ranked team if the conference champion is selected to the College Football Playoff or New Year’s Six bowl game, will play in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl against the fifth selection from the PAC-12.
So-Fi Stadium announced that they came to a multi-year agreement with Kimmel to become the naming rights partner of the LA Bowl.
“Stan Kroenke designed Hollywood Park to be a sports and entertainment destination for Angelenos and visitors from across the world to enjoy. We cannot think of a better way to bring sports and entertainment together than by collaborating with celebrated late-night host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel on our collegiate bowl game,” said Jason Gannon, the executive director of the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl in a statement.
“(The) Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl will not only bring an incredible game-day experience to fans, but it will also focus on supporting our community 365 days a year.”
From 2001-2019, the Las Vegas Bowl served as the host for the Mountain West champion and a team from the PAC-12, but now that affiliation will move to the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, as the two conferences announced in 2019.
“Never before has a bowl game been named after a human being (as far as I know, I didn’t check). On December 18, my dream of being forever enshrined alongside Orange, Rose, Cotton, and Peach comes true,” Kimmel said in the same statement.
The LA Bowl is the top bowl selection for the Mountain West Conference. Along with the bowls Kimmel mentioned in his statement, he will also be enshrined along the famous Mountain West bowls, such as the Nova Homes Arizona Bowl, the New Mexico Bowl, the Hawaii Bowl, and of course, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Kimmel spent much of his youth growing up in Las Vegas and attended UNLV, where he received an honorary degree in 2013. Growing up in Las Vegas, Kimmel became a UNLV basketball fan, rooting for the teams led by legendary head coach Jerry Tarkanian.
He is featured multiple times in the HBO Documentary “The Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV” (8:10, 10:05, 11:21, 27:25, 40:42, 47:10), where he recalled his memories growing up with UNLV basketball.
Recently, as KUNV, the public radio station on UNLV’s campus celebrated its 40th anniversary, a story came up from former program director Ken Jordan about the time he had to fire Kimmel from the college radio station.
The Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl will take place Saturday, Dec. 18, at 4:30 p.m. PT. This will mark the first-ever college football game in SoFi Stadium and it will be televised on ABC.