Lions, Ford Field Looking To Form New Bowl Game; Little Caesars Looking At Comerica Park
With the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl's contract set to expire after the '13 game, the Lions and Ford Field are "expected to get into the bowl business with their own event," according to sources cited by Birkett & Snyder of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. The new bowl game "likely would be run by Ford Field and the business arm of the Lions and be separate from the team’s football operations." The new bowl game would leave the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, played in Detroit since '97 and at Ford Field since '02, "looking for a new location -- possibly at nearby Comerica Park" in '14. Comerica Park is a "real option for the Pizza Bowl, given that the bowl’s primary sponsor also controls the stadium." Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Chair & Exec Dir Ken Hoffman said, “It’s my feeling that [Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch] and Little Caesars would entertain the idea of playing the game in Comerica Park, if we so chose, similar to what Yankee Stadium does for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.” If the new bowl "entered the Big Ten bowl lineup, that could be a significant boost to its prospects" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 5/22). In Detroit, David Goricki notes Detroit "would not be the first city to host two bowl games; Orlando (Capital One, Champs), San Diego (Qualcomm, Poinsettia) and New Orleans (Sugar, New Orleans) do just that currently" (DETROIT NEWS, 5/22).
AMERICAN'S PASTIME? American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco yesterday said that the conference will "consider creating its own bowl game, potentially in South Florida." Aresco: "We think ESPN's done a heck of a job with some of the bowls they've created, and we think it's time we did something like that. We like the idea of it." In Tampa, Greg Auman writes Marlins Park is "one potential venue to explore." The Big East has a "strong recent history with bowl games in baseball stadiums." Its current agreement "includes the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium and the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl at Tropicana Field" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 5/22).