Las Vegas Bowl Moves to Christmas Day, Adds PAC-10 Affiliation

Aug. 20, 2001

By KEN RITTER
Associated Press Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The Las Vegas Bowl is moving to Christmas Day and fromESPN2 to ABC.

Bowl director Tina Kunzer-Murphy said Monday the game will feature thefifth-place team from the Pac-10 Conference against the second-place teamfrom the Mountain West.

'We really feel having a regional matchup means a lot in attracting peopleto town and a bigger television audience,' Kunzer-Murphy said.

The game had been played the evening of Dec. 20 between the second-choiceMountain West team and an at-large pick.

The game, entering its 10th year, still will be played at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Kunzer-Murphy said the broadcast deal with ABC Sports is for three years.

ESPN Regional Television retains the rights to the game that it obtained inMay after nine years under the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Kunzer-Murphy said the regional matchup, at 12:30 p.m. PST on Dec. 25,should boost attendance and television viewership.

Jim Muldoon, assistant Pac-10 commissioner, said Monday his league made aone-year commitment to the bowl but will probably look to extend it.

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said his conference also has oneyear remaining with the bowl, but said the relationship has been good and heexpected an extension will be negotiated.

'This is a nice step forward for the Las Vegas Bowl,' Thompson said of thechange to Christmas Day. 'That's a great window for us.'

Muldoon said the Pac-10 had been talking about sending a sixth-place team tothe Las Vegas Bowl, but opted to send the fifth-place team after Aloha Bowladministrators announced in April that they would move their game fromHawaii.

The Pac-10 had sent a representative every year to Honolulu.

Among cities trying to lure the former Aloha Bowl are San Francisco,Anaheim, Calif., and Columbia, S.C.

The last time a Pac-10 team played in the Las Vegas Bowl was in 1997, whenOregon defeated Air Force 41-13.

Last year's game featured UNLV beating Arkansas 31-14. It drew a crowd ofabout 28,000.

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