Mountain West adds bowl game in Los Angeles in 2020
LAS VEGAS -- Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson Wednesday announced that the league has reached an agreement to play a bowl game in the new home of the NFL's Los Angeles Rams and Chargers beginning in 2020.
The new bowl affiliation gets to select which team it wants, despite being the league champion or not.
The "LA Bowl" now gives the conference six locked-in bowl games throughout the 2020-2026 cycle, along with the New Mexico Bowl, Potato Bowl, Arizona Bowl, Hawaii Bowl and one that ESPN will determine, Thompson says is most likely a game in the Dallas Area.
The MWC has also partnered with the Cheez-It Bowl in Phoenix and another bowl, expected to be announced in the near future. The Mountain West will provide a representative to one of these events if their primary partners are unable to fill one of the slots.
A MWC press release says the league "will provide up to nine potential bowl opportunities for its member institutions beginning with the 2020 season."
"I've heard that rumor," Thompson joked inside the Green Valley Ranch Resort Wednesday afternoon when asked if the LA Bowl will feature a Power-5 team. He said nothing is set as of yet, but he would like to secure that as soon as possible.
"This is major recruiting tool for the conference," Thompson said, adding that a number of league players come out of southern California.
“We’re very pleased with our bowl lineup for the next cycle,” Thompson said. “We feel we have an exceptional group of bowl partners. We’re adding a game at the new, state-of-the-art stadium in Los Angeles, which is very exciting. Plus, we’ll be in some familiar locations with many long-time bowl partners. These partnerships are going to provide the Mountain West with attractive bowl destinations, exciting matchups and an improved financial situation for our members.”
Thompson also announced Wednesday that the league is kicking around the idea of playing the MWC football Championship at a neutral site with the new NFL stadiums in LA and Las Vegas.