FORT WORTH, Texas (Dec. 4, 2016) – The Navy Midshipmen and Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, two teams that played in their respective conference championship games, have officially accepted invitations to play in the 2016 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, Brant Ringler, the bowl’s executive director, announced Sunday.
The 14th edition of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl will be played Friday, Dec. 23, at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. CT (4:30 p.m. ET).
“We are thrilled to announce that the United States Naval Academy and Louisiana Tech University will be playing in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl this year,” Ringler said. “Obviously, to have a service academy playing in the game for the eighth time in the past 10 years is outstanding, and to attract a team with such a strong regional presence is a real coup. This will be an exciting matchup and we are looking forward to welcoming fans of both schools to Fort Worth.”
Navy (9-3, 7-1 American) is ranked 25th in the lastest College Football Playoff ranking. The Midshipmen earned a spot in the American Athletic Conference championship game Saturday, where the Mids dropped a 34-10 decision to Temple. The team’s signature win came against then-No. 6 Houston, and the squad also defeated Notre Dame for just the fourth time since 1963.
In his ninth year directing the Midshipmen, American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year Ken Niumatalolo is the program’s all-time winningest coach with a 77-40 (.658) record. This season, the team ranks third nationally in rushing yards per game (327.5) and 18th in scoring offense (39.1).
Navy, making its 13th bowl appearance in the past 14 years, is 10-10-1 in 21 all-time bowl games. This will mark the Mids’ second trip to the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. In 2013, Navy defeated Middle Tennesseee, 24-6.
Louisiana Tech (8-5, 6-2 Conference USA) claimed the West Division of C-USA to earn a spot in the league title game against Western Kentucky, where the Bulldogs fell, 58-44, on Saturday. The Bulldogs had a seven-game winning streak during the year, which included a 55-52 victory over WKU.
LA Tech features a prolific offense that ranks third in the NCAA in passing yards (359.8), fifth in scoring offense (44.0) and eighth in total offense (516.1). Skip Holtz is in his fourth season at Louisiana Tech, where he owns a 30-22 (.577) record, and has led the Bulldogs to its third straight bowl game.
Louisiana Tech, which has wins at the 2014 Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl and the 2015 New Orleans Bowl, is 4-3-1 in bowl games all time. This will be the team’s first-ever appearance at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.
This year’s game will again be televised nationally on ESPN and also will be aired in both English and Spanish on the Armed Forces Bowl Radio Network.
Tickets range from $30 for general admission seating to $75 for lower bowl reserved seats. In addition, a limited number of seats are also available in the exclusive Bud Light Platinum Club located on the west side of the stadium. At $125, these tickets include premium seating, complimentary food and beverages, and access to the inside of the club level. Tickets are available at www.ArmedForcesBowl.com.
For the second consecutive year, the general public can thank armed forces members and their families by sponsoring tickets for military members to attend the game through the “Host a Hero” program. “Host a Hero” tickets, sold for $15 each, will be distributed to past and present service members and their families. These generous ticket sponsors will be recognized during the game.
The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is the only collegiate football bowl game that has hosted all three U.S. Service Academy football teams. The U.S. Air Force Academy (2007-2009, 2012 and 2015), the U.S. Military Academy (2010) and the U.S. Naval Academy (2013) have all previously participated in the bowl.
The Fort Worth college bowl game has featured the “armed forces” theme since 2006. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the service are prevalent throughout the game. Past Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest adventure areas showcasing armed forces hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military's top skydiving teams; custom homes awarded to wounded warriors; on-field induction ceremonies; armed forces bands and honor guards; and the annual Great American Patriot Award presented by Armed Forces Insurance.
The bowl game also created and operates the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America. For additional information about the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, please visit ArmedForcesBowl.com, Facebook.com/ArmedForcesBowl or Twitter.com/ArmedForcesBowl.
The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is one of 13 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.