October 10, 2013
FORT WORTH, Texas - Starting with the 2014 season, an American Athletic Conference school will be playing in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl as the league will send a team to Fort Worth on a rotating basis three of the next five seasons (2014, 2016, and 2018). "We are thrilled to announce our new agreement with the American Athletic Conference,” said Brant Ringler, Executive Director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. “We are looking forward to developing new relationships and hosting new teams to the Fort Worth area.”
"The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl is an important addition to our bowl lineup,” said Mike Aresco, Commissioner of the American Athletic Conference. “It gives us a quality game against a strong opponent in a region that is a geographic fit with our membership. The opportunity to play a postseason game in the state of Texas is extremely attractive to us.”
The team selection in these years will be based upon geography, opponent matchup and record, in agreement with the conference. The Naval Academy, soon to join The American, is also scheduled to play in Fort Worth in the 2016 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl pending bowl eligibility.
The 11th annual Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will feature a school from the Mountain West Conference versus the U.S. Naval Academy, pending bowl eligibility. The game will be played on Dec. 30, 2013 in Fort Worth. ESPN and ESPN Radio will air the game with a 10:45 a.m. (CT) kickoff from Amon G. Carter Stadium on the campus of TCU. While the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl game is played in honor of the armed forces, the postseason contest has previously hosted the U.S. Military Academy (2010) and the U.S. Air Force Academy (2007-2009, 2012).
With Rice defeating Air Force 33-14, the 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl drew an attendance of 40,754 and the largest television audience in the game’s history with an average of 2,584,000 households. The ESPN telecast had a 2.6 average household coverage rating – marking the bowl’s second-highest rating in the event history.