The Holiday Bowl, one of the longest-running bowl games, will be undergoing a scheduling change this year. For the first time ever, the game will be played New Year’s Eve.
Usually, the Holiday Bowl is played between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Last year’s game was played on Dec. 28, and the contest has been held on Dec. 30 on 16 occasions in its 40-year history.
In the early years of the Holiday Bowl, the game was occasionally played before Christmas, but hasn’t been played before Dec. 27 since the mid-1980s.
This year’s edition will be played at SDCCU Stadium on Dec. 31. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET on FS1.
“We’re fired up,” said Mark Neville, the Holiday Bowl’s executive director. “For the first time in our history, we’ll be kicking off the new year with the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl. We’re looking at it as we’ve got your plans set for New Year’s Eve. You can check that box off. SDCCU Stadium is the place to be on New Year’s Eve.”
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“It will end before midnight on the East Coast, probably around 10:30,” Neville said. “People are going to be awake, so they’re going to be watching it. Then they can turn over and watch the ball drop (in New York).”
In addition to the Holiday Bowl, the Military, San Francisco, Sun, Liberty and Gator Bowls will all be played on Dec. 31.
The Holiday Bowl pairs a team from the Big Ten against an opponent from the Pac-12. Michigan State topped Washington State in last year’s meeting.