Aztecs Vs. Navy “A Win – Win for Everybody”
The early announcement came December 1 before a sold-out basketball crowd in Viejas Arena. Microphone in hand, Poinsettia Bowl Executive Director Bruce Binkowski stood on the court with SDSU President Stephen L. Weber, Athletics Director Jim Sterk, Head Coach Brady Hoke and several senior members of the Aztec football team. Before he could finish the sentence, “We would officially like to invite the San Diego State Aztecs to play in the sixth annual Poinsettia Bowl," Aztec fans erupted in an arena-rocking roar.
Thousands of SDSU fans are expected to help make this year's Poinsettia Bowl one of the best attended in its six-year history.
The Poinsettia Bowl, set for December 23 at 5:00 p.m. (PST) in Qualcomm Stadium, will pit the Aztecs against the United States Naval Academy Midshipmen. The game is expected to attract a large crowd given its location just a stone’s throw from the SDSU campus and considering the large Navy presence in San Diego.
“This is my 33rd year with the Bowl Association and this has never happened before,” says Binkowski, “which gives you some idea of how rare it is when you can have, in essence, two hometown teams competing in San Diego.”
The Aztecs haven’t been bowling in 12 years. That’s part of the reason Binkowski and Poinsettia Bowl organizers, once they learned they had the team locked up, wanted to issue their invitation before the scheduled date of December 5.
“It’s no secret that San Diego State football has had problems in recent years and to have their first bowl game in more than a decade in their own hometown is huge,” Binkowski explains. “It’s huge for the community, the football program, the players, the students. To give them an opportunity to support their team at home in this big turnaround year, I think, is just a win - win for everybody.”
It could certainly be a win for the Poinsettia Bowl’s ticket office. Published reports list ticket sales already in excess of 36,000, well ahead of last year’s pace.
Bowl-related celebrations and parties
The Aztecs stay home to play the Navy Midshipmen at Qualcomm Stadium in the sixth annual Poinsettia Bowl.
are expected to be well attended, too. Activities are planned for every day the week of the Poinsettia Bowl from December 20 – 23.
Bowl organizers and Aztec Athletic officials have worked to secure hotel deals
for out-of-town alumni and fans traveling to San Diego for the big game. Still, they are counting on the exceptional occurrence of a double-local fan base to comprise what they hope will be a record turnout for the big game.
“It’s very unusual,” says Binkowski, “and it should be a real festive night on the 23rd.”Become a lifetime member of the SDSU Alumni Association and receive a free Poinsettia Bowl ticket!