The fourth edition of the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl is complete and most of those involved with making it happen — including executives Jon Volpe, Ali Farhang and Kym Adair — appear to be determined to keep the show running into next year and beyond.
That can only mean good news for Tucson, which should value the exposure and the chance for local businesses to reap the benefits of new visitors (who may decide to explore this city another time after being exposed to it).
The announced attendance of 32,368 today was not as much as last year’s record of 39,132 but today’s figure is still impressive inasmuch as Nevada and Arkansas State did not have fans who are bowl-starved. This was Arkansas State’s eighth straight bowl and Nevada last played in a bowl here in 2015.
New Mexico State boosted last year’s ticket sales because it had not been to a bowl since 1960. Tickets sold this year were still only less than 7,000 than last year.
The following is a slideshow of today’s festivities surrounding the game (photographed by our new photographer Mackenzie Morales, my daughter), won by Nevada 16-13 in thrilling fashion in overtime. Further down are videos of Nevada’s postgame press conference and an interview with Farhang.
Nevada coach Jay Norvell talks about what the importance of the Arizona Bowl victory means to him, calling it his “favorite win” of his career. “It’s not even close,” said Norvell, who was an assistant at Nebraska, UCLA, Oklahoma and ASU before becoming the head coach at Nevada before last season.
Arizona Bowl executive director Ali Farhang discusses the success of the fourth game, drawing more than 32,000 in ticket sales, which is one of the top marks of the non-New Year’s Day and non-BCS bowls. He was also elated by the nice weather (calling it a “Chamber of Commerce Day”, the effort of the teams involved, the entertainment value and the hope that soon Arizona Stadium will be filled for the bowl.