The Texas Bowl features one of the largest fireworks shows in the country.
The Texas Bowl Committee announced today that the 2009 Texas Bowl will be televised nationally by ESPN. The game will be played on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009, at Reliant Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT.
The Texas Bowl moves to ESPN after airing on NFL Network for its first three years. It will be a part of ESPN's popular Capital One Bowl Week, which will feature 23 bowl games from Dec. 19 to Jan. 2.
"This is a significant step in the continuing growth of the Texas Bowl," Texas Bowl manager Heather Houston said. "ESPN is the home of college football year-round, and partnering with them will give the Texas Bowl the chance to be viewed by millions of sports fans across the country."
"ESPN is pleased to bring college football fans the Texas Bowl to Capital One Bowl Week," said Kurt Dargis, senior manager, programming, ESPN. "We look forward to bringing the longstanding tradition of football in Texas and another exciting bowl game to college football fans on New Year's Eve."
The New Year's Eve date marks the latest that the Texas Bowl has been played in its four-year history. The inaugural Texas Bowl was played on December 28, 2006; and the 2007 edition took place on the same date. Last year, the bowl was played on Dec. 30. The 2:30 p.m. CT start time also marks the first time the Texas Bowl will be played outside of prime time.
This year, the Texas Bowl will feature a team from the Big 12 Conference versus the U.S. Naval Academy, should the Midshipmen become bowl eligible.
The Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over its first three years. The bowl has generated an average of $25 million per year for the Houston economy. The bowl boasts over 25,000 season ticket holders and sold over 50,000 tickets before its teams were announced last year.
Over its three-year history, the Texas Bowl has donated over $200,000 and over $5 million in promotional support and publicity to DePelchin Children's Center, the bowl's official charitable beneficiary.
Last year, a partisan crowd of 58,880 fans saw Rice capture the school's first win in a bowl game since 1954, defeating Western Michigan 38-14. Quarterback Chase Clement garnered MVP honors after passing for 307 yards and three touchdowns, rushing for 72 yards and a score, and catching a 13-yard touchdown pass.
TCU defeated the University of Houston, 20-13, in the 2007 Texas Bowl before a crowd of 62,097. The audience was the third-largest crowd ever to see a college bowl game in Houston. The 2007 Texas Bowl attracted the eighth-largest crowd among non-BCS bowls last year.
The inaugural Texas Bowl was played on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006 at Reliant Stadium. Rutgers defeated Kansas State, 37-10, before a crowd of 52,210, the largest crowd to witness a bowl game in Houston not involving a Texas team since 1972.