The 10th anniversary Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl is slated to feature a "familiar" match-up as a team from the Mountain West Conference will meet a Conference USA institution for the 2012 postseason football game.
Owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), the 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will kick off Saturday, Dec. 29 at TCU's newly-renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium with a 10:45 a.m. (CT) kickoff. The game will be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN Radio.
The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl's agreement with the Mountain West is for two years with the 2013 edition featuring a MW team against the United States Naval Academy, provided the Midshipmen are bowl-eligible. Navy has also agreed to play in the 2016 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl with the United States Military Academy signing a contract to participate in the Fort Worth postseason game in 2014 and 2017, if bowl-eligible.
"We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to host a MW institution as one of our bowl participants in 2012," said Brant B. Ringler, executive director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. "Our game has featured the Mountain West vs. Conference USA match-up three times, with the last two meetings in 2008 and 2009 attracting national attention as Air Force played Houston. The Falcons and Cougars split the two-game set with crowds of more than 40,000 for each contest."
Two teams in the current Mountain West lineup have previously competed in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, as Boise State participated in the inaugural 2003 edition, known then as the PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl, defeating TCU 34-31; and the Air Force Falcons in 2007 versus Cal and in 2008 and 2009 against Houston. Other MW institutions for the 2012 season are Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawai'i, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV and Wyoming.
"The Mountain West is excited to renew its relationship with the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl," said Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson. "Our institutions have been a part of the fabric of the game's history and it's only fitting that a Mountain West representative will participate in the 10th anniversary of the bowl this December. The date and location are very attractive for our teams, the experiences of past participants have been very positive and we look forward to visiting newly-renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium."
Four current members of Conference USA have played in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, including Marshall (2004), Houston (2005, 2008 and 2009), SMU (2010) and Tulsa (2006 and 2011). Other C-USA schools for the 2012 season are East Carolina, Memphis, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulane, UAB, UCF and UTEP.
Owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl has featured the "Armed Forces" theme since 2006. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the service are prevalent throughout the game. Past Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest areas showcasing Armed Forces hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military's top skydiving teams; the awarding of custom homes to wounded warriors; on-field induction ceremonies; Armed Forces bands and honor guards; and the awarding of the annual "Great American Patriot Award" (GAPA) presented by Armed Forces Insurance. For additional information about the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, please visit ArmedForcesBowl.com, Facebook.com/ArmedForcesBowl or Twitter.com/ArmedForcesBowl.
Ticket information for the 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be released in the coming months and can be obtained at ArmedForcesBowl.com. Armed Forces veterans and active-duty personnel receive free admittance via the bowl's corporate Armed Forces ticket underwriting program.
Bell Helicopter-Textron is an American manufacturer of commercial and military helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft with its headquarters in Fort Worth. Bell Helicopter provides the United States Armed Forces with the world's best military helicopters, including the V-22 Osprey, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, the AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom helicopters. A sister company, Textron Systems, produces the new M1117 Armored Security Vehicle, which is designed for speed and for deflecting rocket-propelled grenades and land mines.
ESPN Regional Television/Event Ownership
The nation's largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, ESPN Regional Television (ERT) annually produces more than 1,200 sporting events. Content includes action from NCAA football, basketball and Olympic sports, NHRA and professional and amateur golf, accounting for more than 3,400 live and/or original hours of programming. ERT's owned and operated events reach over a million fans a year and provides more than 200 additional hours of programming.
In addition to event ownership, ERT is the production headquarters for ESPNU; syndication rights-holder and producer of national, regional and local shows for college conferences (SEC, BIG EAST, Big 12, Mid-American, WAC) and manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.