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GALLERY FURNITURE FACES CHALLENGE AS NEW TX BOWL SPONSOR
Published December 15, 1999
Gallery Furniture Owner Jim McIngvale said Tuesday that his company "will be the title sponsor" of a college bowl game in Houston "at a cost of" about $2M over four years, according to Neal Farmer of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. The game will be called the galleryfurniture.com Bowl and, "pending NCAA certification," will debut December 26, 2000, in the Astrodome, with hopes of "eventually" moving it to the Houston NFL expansion team's stadium. But Farmer writes that the new bowl game "faces many of the problems" the Bluebonnet Bowl -- last played in '87 when it drew 23,282 -- "found to be insurmountable." One is a December 26 date that "would require out-of-town fans to be away from home for Christmas," which "may force the bowl to be dependent on local ticket sales." While "no TV deal" is in place for 2000, talks are taking place with Fox, Turner and ESPN. The game "has no conference tie-ins," but bowl promoter Jerry Ippoliti "has talked with the commissioners of several conferences," including the SEC, Big 12, Conference USA, Mountain West and the WAC (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/15).