San Francisco Bowl to Feature Pac-12 vs Big Ten
The long wait is over. This December, Levi’s® Stadium will host the San Francisco Bowl Game’s annual contest.
In November of 2012, Bowl officials, along with ownership and management hierarchy from the NFL San Francisco 49ers, announced that, beginning this year, the game would move to Levi’s® Stadium in Santa Clara, the state-of-the-art new home for the 49ers. Subsequent to that announcement, the NFL last May awarded Super Bowl 50, the 50th anniversary of the AFC-NFC championship game, to Levi’s® Stadium in February of 2016.
“We’re anticipating a very bright future in the 49ers new home in Santa Clara,” said the Bowl’s Executive Director, Gary Cavalli. “Our game was the first to commit to playing in what is unquestionably one of the world’s great sporting facilities.”
In addition to its upcoming new home, the Bowl goes forward with exciting new conference partnerships beginning this year as well.
In June of 2013, Cavalli announced landmark six-year agreements that will establish a new partnership with the Big Ten and significantly improve the Bowl’s selection rights in the Pac-12. Both pacts will run from 2014 through 2019.
“Our objective entering negotiations for the next bowl cycle was to elevate the game,” Cavalli said. “Specifically, we wanted to move up in the Pac-12 and secure the highest quality opponent possible. We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to achieve both goals. With a Pac-12 vs. Big Ten matchup and a new world-class stadium, we’ve positioned our game very well for the future.”
Under terms of its renewal with the Pac-12, the Bowl will have the No. 4 pick, within parameters established by the conference, [after the Rose/Playoff Group, Alamo and Holiday Bowls], a jump of two positions from its current No. 6. The Bowl will work with the Big Ten to create the best possible matchup for the Pac-12 and ensure that at least five different Big Ten teams visit the Bay Area during the six-year term.
“We are delighted to continue the Pac-12’s relationship with the San Francisco Bowl and thrilled to build on our postseason partnership with the Big Ten Conference in the Bay Area,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.
“Having the opportunity to showcase the two conferences with a quality match-up in the San Francisco 49ers new state-of-the-art stadium is a win-win for our teams and fans.”
Established in 2002, the Bowl played its first 12 games in AT&T Park, the downtown home of the San Francisco Giants.
In that time, several of the nation’s foremost college football programs played in San Francisco. Included are past national champions USC, Miami, Florida State, Washington and BYU.
The Pac-12 was first represented in the game in 2006, when UCLA faced Florida State. Oregon State came to San Francisco in 2007, followed by California in 2008 and USC in 2009. After a year’s hiatus, the Pac-12 sent UCLA again to the 2011 matchup, then Arizona State in 2012 and Washington last year. Pac-12 teams own a 5-2 record overall in the San Francisco Bowl.
The union of the two conferences in Levi’s® Stadiium represents a significant potential increase in not only attendance, but also in television ratings. Between them, the Pac-12 and Big Ten have a television ‘reach’ that stretches from coast to coast, marked by a presence in 12 of the top 20 national television markets and 15 of the top 30.
The events leading up to the game are as anticipated as the contest itself. Visiting Alcatraz and boating underneath the Golden Gate Bridge; a first-class Kickoff Luncheon at the historic Westin St. Francis Hotel; a rally in scenic Union Square, all provide for an incredible week of lifetime memories for players, coaches, fans and Bowl committee members.
Tickets are now available for purchase here.