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When Tucson last had a bowl game, the 1999 Insight.com Bowl, the announced attendance for the game between Colorado and Boston College was 35,762 in the 56,200-capacity Arizona Stadium.
Tucson gives it another try 16 years later with regional teams Nevada and Colorado State playing each other today in the inaugural Arizona Bowl at 5:30 p.m. Tucson time.
When the Insight.com Bowl decided to move to what was then the Bank One Ballpark in downtown Phoenix, officials cited apathy in Tucson for the reason.
“There was nothing wrong with the city or the university,” bowl official Steve Shoefler told the Arizona Daily Wildcat. “It’s just that the lure of a post-season collegiate bowl game just didn’t seem to be a top priority for the people of Tucson.”
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PREVIOUS TUCSON-BASED BOWL GAMES
WEISER LOCK COPPER BOWL (1989-1996)
INSIGHT.COM BOWL (1997-1999)
Will Tucson warm up to the Arizona Bowl now?
The downtown block party yesterday, showcasing the Colorado State and Nevada teams, cheerleaders and bands, was a move in the right direction to stir interest in the locals. It also makes sense that trips from Reno, Nev., and Fort Collins, Colo., are not very far to Tucson for fans of both teams.
The following are some social media reactions of the game, many of which should stir some interest for college football fans in Tucson.
Thank you to the people from @AZBowlGame for a great event last night. Our players had a great time!
Music to our earshttps://t.co/sBJXeSiQ0L
It's nice to hear former UA & Tucson Sidewinders announcer Ryan Radtke do the preview of Wolf Pack. Welcome back! https://t.co/leDwtLXxpr
Arizona Stadium in Tucson getting its exterior prepped for the Arizona Bowl. pic.twitter.com/9ZKpATrdki