Late Morning Kickoff for 2009 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl

Fort Worth, Texas, July 1, 2009 – The 2009 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will kick off at 11 a.m. CT as the postseason college football game ushers in the New Year for the third straight year at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, which is owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), will be televised live on ESPN from Amon G. Carter Stadium on Thursday, Dec. 31.  The seventh edition of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will feature a team from Conference USA against a team from the Mountain West Conference.

After four consecutive years of being played before Christmas, on December 23, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl joined the New Year’s Eve schedule in 2007.  Schools from the Pacific 10 Conference and Conference USA have posted wins over Mountain West representative Air Force for the past two years, with those games each attracting more than 40,000 fans.  Cal scored a 42-36 come-from-behind win over Air Force in 2007, and the Falcons dropped a 34-28 decision to Houston in 2008.  The attendance figure ranked among the best in the 80-season history of Amon G. Carter Stadium.

“The New Year’s Eve date and the midday kickoff time has resonated well with our local fans the past two years, and I’m extremely pleased that we will have another day game on that date again,” said Brant B. Ringler, Senior Manager for Sales and Marketing for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.

Schools from C-USA and Mountain West have met 12 times in postseason bowl games.  C-USA schools lead 7-5, with Houston breaking an eight-game postseason losing streak by defeating the Air Force in the 2008 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.  Before the 2008 bowl game, the Mountain West Conference had won three of the four regular-season meetings with Conference USA schools, as Houston dropped a 31-28 decision Sept. 13 to Air Force in Dallas at SMU, followed by Colorado State’s 28-25 win over the Cougars in Fort Collins.

A team from Conference USA will play in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl for the sixth time as the 12-school league has posted a 2-3 bowl mark at Amon G. Carter Stadium, including Cincinnati’s 2004 win over Marshall. The Mountain West Conference is 1-2, with Utah beating Tulsa in the nine-school league’s first appearance in 2006.  In addition to the Pac-10’s berth in 2007, other conferences that have played in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl include the Big 12, Mid-American and Western Athletic Conferences.

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 two of the top military skydiving teams; induction ceremonies on the field; a military band and joint color guard; plus the presentation of the “Great American Patriot Award,” all presented by Armed Forces Insurance.   The 2008 GAPA award winner was Army General David H. Petraeus.

A Textron Inc. Company, Bell Helicopter agreed August 23, 2006, to the title sponsorship for the postseason 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 2009 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 this year’s game can be obtained by calling the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl office at (817) 810-0012 or by visiting the bowl’s official Web site: http://www.armedforcesbowl.com.