Fort Worth, Texas, April 29, 2009 – The United States Naval Academy will be sailing into the Metroplex in 2013 as the Midshipmen have signed an agreement to compete in that year’s edition of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.
“Obviously we are as pleased as can be that Navy, with it’s great heritage and tradition, has agreed to participate in our 2013 game,” said Tom Starr, Executive Director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. “Having one of our nation’s military academies participate in our game is a natural, and is extremely popular with our fans as the past two years have proven with sellouts featuring the Air Force Academy.”
Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk extended his “thanks to ESPN and the bowl committee for extending an invitation to our Midshipmen. We have thousands of alumni, enlisted and prior enlisted sailors and marines who reside within the Dallas-Fort Worth community and this opportunity will allow us to bring our highly spirited supporters and football family together in one of the most hospitable communities in the country. We are generally excited and grateful for this invitation.”
Navy has currently strung together six-consecutive winning seasons as the Midshipmen have compiled a 51-25 record since 2003 with six-straight bowl appearances. With wins over both Air Force and Army in 2008, Navy earned its sixth consecutive Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy, tying the record for consecutive trophies won set by Air Force from 1998-02.
Navy, which owns an all-time record of 632-516-57 (.548), became just the second school in FBS history to reach the 1,200 games played milestone last season when the Midshipmen handed SMU a 34-7 setback in an October meeting in Annapolis. Rutgers has competed in the most games in FBS history with Michigan and Nebraska ranking behind the Middies.
In 128 years of football, Navy has played in 15 bowl games, including a current streak of six years in a row with six victories. The Naval Academy has won one National Championship (1926) while producing two Heisman Trophy winners (Joe Bellino in 1960 and Roger Staubach in 1963), 34 first-team All-Americans, five first-team Academic All-Americans, four Maxwell Trophy winners and 21 members of the College Football Hall of Fame.
For the third straight year, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will “usher” in the New Year as the 2009 post-season college football game will be played on New Year’s Eve at Amon G. Carter Stadium. The 2009 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be televised live on ESPN on Thursday, December 31 with the kickoff time still to be determined. The seventh edition of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will feature schools from Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference.
With Patriotic overtones featuring all five branches of the military, the 2008 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl included a fanfest area showcasing military hardware; a flyover; a demonstration by one of the top military skydiving teams; induction ceremonies on the field; a military band and honor guard; and the presentation of the “Great American Patriot Award.” The 2008 GAPA award winner was Army General David Petraeus.
A Textron Inc. Company, Bell Helicopter agreed August 23, 2006, to be the title sponsorship for the post-season college football game formerly known as the PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl (2003, 2004) and the Fort Worth Bowl (2005), which is now the Armed Forces Bowl. With those changes, the official name is the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. On December 6, 2007, Bell Helicopter exercised its option for title sponsorship of the game for 2008 and 2009.
Ticket prices for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl are $50 for sideline seats, $40 for upper deck seats and $20 for end-zone tickets. Military veterans receive half off any $40 and $50 seat and active-duty personnel get in free via the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl corporate military ticket underwriting program. A portion of local ticket sales will go to designated military charities. Tickets for the 2009 game can be obtained by calling the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl office at 817/810-0012.