New bowl game would precede Holiday Bowl


SAN DIEGO -- Holiday Bowl officials will go before the NCAA
on Tuesday to seek certification for a second bowl game in San

If approved, the game will be played Dec. 22 at Qualcomm
Stadium, and likely will be called the Poinsettia Bowl. The Holiday
Bowl is scheduled for Dec. 29.

"I'm going in thinking we've got a 50-50 chance," Holiday Bowl
executive director Bruce Binkowski said on Thursday. "We're
confident, but we don't want to go beyond 50-50. We've got all the
pieces in place. We've just got to see what the committee thinks."

Binkowski and other Holiday Bowl officials will make their
presentation to the Football Certification Subcommittee in Phoenix.

If the game is approved, it will be sponsored by a local company
that Binkowski wouldn't identify. No TV contract has been
finalized, but Binkowski expects that the game would be shown
nationally. ESPN televises the Holiday Bowl.

The Mountain West Conference has pushed hard for a pre-Christmas
bowl game in San Diego, to match one of its teams against an
at-large team. Binkowski said he's received letters of support from
the Western Athletic Conference -- which used to send its champion
to the Holiday Bowl -- Conference USA and the Naval Academy.

If approved, the new bowl could take the Mountain West team of
its choice, meaning San Diego State could play in a hometown bowl,
if eligible. The Aztecs haven't been eligible for postseason play
since going to the 1998 Las Vegas Bowl.

"There's the possibility not only of San Diego State, but also
for BYU, Wyoming, Colorado State and all those old Holiday Bowl
teams to be back," Binkowski said.

BYU played in 11 Holiday Bowls and always was a big draw.

The Holiday Bowl has matched teams from the Pac-10 and Big 12
conferences since 1998. In 1999, BYU, San Diego State and six other
teams left the expanded WAC to form the Mountain West Conference.

The new bowl would pay each team close to the old bowl minimum
of $750,000. "At this point it's a moving target, but the key is
to approach $750,000," Binkowski said.