The Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission (ASEC) announced the newly formed NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl on Thursday, which will be 41st bowl game of the 2015 college football season. The game is currently scheduled for 5:30 pm MT on December 29 in Tucson, AZ at Arizona Stadium, home of the University of Arizona Wildcats.
The NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl has partnered with Campus Insiders and will be the first digitally-focused bowl game broadcast. Internet users will be able to stream the game online through CampusInsiders.com. A linear broadcast network partner will be announced at a later date.
The game will feature a matchup between a member of Conference USA, the Mountain West Conference or the Sun Belt Conference.
Members of Conference USA and Mountain West have met in a bowl game 15 times since 1999, including twice last season. The conferences split the two games in 2014, as Utah State took down UTEP 21-6 in the New Mexico Bowl and Rice beat Fresno State 30-6 in the Hawaii Bowl. Overall, Conference USA leads the Mountain West in the series 8-7 and has won four of the last five meetings.
The Sun Belt has had past bowl success against both the aforementioned conferences with a 6-5 record against the Mountain West (including a 16-3 Louisiana-Lafayette win over Nevada in the New Orleans Bowl last year) and 2-1 edge over Conference USA.
The NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl is the first bowl game hosted in Tucson since the Insight.com Bowl in 1999 when Colorado defeated Boston College, 62-28. Tucson was the site of the Copper Bowl from 1989-1996, and the Insight.com Bowl from 1997-99. It also will be the third bowl game hosted this season by the state of Arizona (TicketCity Cactus Bowl and Vizio Fiesta Bowl).
The benefits of the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl will extend beyond the schools, players and fans. The ASEC announced the economic impact of the bowl game will reach approximately $25 million in effort to establish tourism and part-time jobs. The United Way of Tucson and the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Arizona will also philanthropic benefits from the bowl’s impact on the community.