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Holiday Bowl kicks off amid uncertain future

Posted at 4:33 PM, Dec 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-27 20:38:54-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The Holiday Bowl has earned a reputation of being one of the nation's most exciting bowl games, but its future remains one of uncertainty.

That's because the city is now finalizing a deal with San Diego State University that calls for tearing down the 68,000-seat SDCCU Stadium after the 2021 season, and replacing it with a 35,000 seat venue.

The new stadium for the SDSU Aztecs will be too small to handle the caliber of match-up the Holiday Bowl brings, bowl spokesman Rick Schloss said in an interview.

"I think we need something a little bit bigger, and supply and demand, we're thinking we're going to have big demand," he said.

This year's bowl game matches up two Top-25 teams - USC and Iowa - in front of a national television audience. Next year through 2025, the Holiday Bowl will feature a match-up between teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Pac-12, its mainstay.

"We're playing the game here tonight, and we'll look at options next year," Schloss said.

The bowl is signed with the city through 2020, but can opt out of its lease if the city sells the stadium.

Schloss stressed that the Holiday Bowl is committed to San Diego, and said there have been discussions about moving the game to Petco Park, which holds about 43,000 people. It's unclear, however, whether a football field can fit in the baseball-only stadium downtown.

San Diego State's new stadium will be expandable to 55,000 seats if an NFL team decides to return to the city.