Downtown San Diego's Petco Park becomes new site for Holiday Bowl

Posted at 12:11 PM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 15:11:25-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – It’s official: The Holiday Bowl will now call Petco Park home.

San Diego Padres officials, Holiday Bowl representatives, and City of San Diego leaders came together at the East Village ballpark Thursday to announce the big move for one of college football’s popular bowl games.

The 2021 Holiday Bowl game is scheduled for Dec. 28, and it will include some firsts:

  • for the first time in 42 years, the game will not be played in Mission Valley
  • it will be the first football game to be played at Petco Park
  • the 2021 game will be first time a Pac-12 team will go head-to-head with an ACC team

The game will be played at the Padres’ home field for at least the next five years.

Padres CEO Erik Greupner said, “The Padres are excited to welcome the Holiday Bowl to Petco Park and keep this long-standing tradition where it belongs, in San Diego. Petco Park is a world class venue, and we are thrilled to welcome college football fans to what will be a truly unique bowl game experience.”

The Holiday Bowl usually brings in at least $31 million to the local economy. To date, over its four decades of existence, the game has brought in $977 million to the San Diego area. Officials believe the revenue stream will continue as the game settles in at Petco Park.

“It not only directs the eyeballs to our city, which is a good thing, but it brings people to town and their credit cards,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.

The move to Petco Park has raised the question of why the game isn’t going to be played at the Aztec Stadium in Mission Valley once it’s built, and Holiday Bowl CEO Mark Neville responded by saying the venue was too small.

Neville said, “For us to be able to continue to get Power 5 conferences from the ACC and Pac-12, the team payoffs are higher. We need ticket revenue opportunity to pursue that. Nothing against Aztec Stadium, it's going to be an awesome facility; but for us this just works better.”

Tickets for the Holiday Bowl will go on sale to the public in September.