The NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl, hosted in Tucson, will have some new faces in the coming seasons.
Late last month, Governor’s Office Southern Arizona director Becky Freeman announced that the bowl will continue their partnership with the Mountain West and bring aboard the Mid-American conference.
“As we looked at a partner to go against the Mountain West, we wanted a conference that valued the same things we valued, which, in addition to football, our value of giving back to charities and a conference that would embrace our bowl game as one of their top bowl games in their lineups, and also had schools with alumni that would want to travel to Tucson in the winter or had alumni close-by,” NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl director Kym Adair said. “When we looked at those factors, it was a no-brainer for us that the Mid-American conference was a perfect fit for what we were trying to achieve.”
Sanctioned by the NCAA in 2015, the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl has grown significantly in just three years. According to Adair, 2015 saw attendance of 20,000 people and a $15 million economic impact. In just two years, these numbers grew to 43,000 people and a $33 million economic impact – 115 and 120 percent increases, respectively. Adair anticipates the attendance to grow once again in the upcoming season.
“Starting in 2019, we’re going to be a New Year’s Eve game with kickoff at 2:30 p.m.. That’s really exciting for us — people don’t have to figure out when the game is going to be, they can know it’s going to be on New Year’s Eve, and we can build on that tradition,” Adair said. “At the end of the game, after trophies have been distributed, we will have a fireworks spectacular display off the side of the Arizona stadium, which we’re very excited about – it’s going to be a great way for families to kick off their New Year’s Eve festivities.”
This year, NOVA Home Loans is hosting its first-ever New Year’s Eve party in downtown Tucson. The bash is designed to bring the Tucson community together before the end of the year, Adair said. Festivities will begin at 6 p.m. and will conclude with a giant taco dropping at midnight – you read that right – and a firework show above Hotel Congress.
Adair emphasizes that NOVA Home Loans donates all of the profits of the bowl game to charity. “100 percent of our net proceeds go to charity,” she said. “Southern Arizona and all of Arizona is activated to help the success of the bowl, because it helps put money back into local charities.”