Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky announced today that the conference has secured future relationships with ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, to participate in five different bowl games over the next six years, securing three bowl positions per season. Banowsky also announced today that the conference has extended its agreement with the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl to participate in the game following the 2014-2019 seasons.
The agreements are with four ESPN owned and operated bowls: the Beef `O' Brady's Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla., Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, Gildan New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque and the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl in Honolulu, as well as the Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank. These partnerships will include games following the 2014-2019 seasons and C-USA will participate in three of the five games each year.
"We are excited to announce new and extended bowl relationships with ESPN as we continue to build our future bowl lineup," Banowsky said. “ESPN does a tremendous job of hosting bowl games in amazing destinations and we are fortunate to have some great matchups in those games until 2020.”
Conference USA will play a bowl game in North Texas each of the next six years, playing in the Heart of Dallas Bowl as well as the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl over that period. It will also participate in the Beef `O' Brady's Bowl and the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl three times each over the six-year span. C-USA will play in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl on an annual basis for all six years.
In these bowls, Conference USA will have the opportunity to face opponents from the ACC, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten and Mountain West Conferences.
ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, owns and operates collegiate sporting events worldwide, including two Labor Day Kickoff college football games; nine college bowl games and eight college basketball events. These account for approximately 200 hours of programming, reach almost 64 million viewers and attract nearly half a million attendees each year. The owned and operated events build relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as provide unique experiences for teams and fans.
"The New Orleans Bowl has been an outstanding longtime partner of Conference USA," Banowsky said. "We are very pleased to participate in a great bowl game in a terrific destination like New Orleans. We also look forward to working with our other conference partners in maximizing these wonderful opportunities for our student-athletes."
Conference USA has participated in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl nine times in the bowl's 12-year history. Six current members of C-USA have participated in the game, posting six victories.
Conference USA will play in the 2013 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Saturday, December 21 against an opponent from the Sun Belt Conference. The New Orleans Bowl is played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the site of six Super Bowl games and four BCS National Championship Games.
Additional future bowl partnerships for Conference USA will be announced at a later date.
Old Dominion football is transitioning to Conference USA and FBS in 2013 and will play a full C-USA schedule in 2014.