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The Holiday Bowl Could Move to Petco Park

Holiday Bowl

The San Diego Bowl Game Association is looking to move The Holiday Bowl to Petco Park, which could replace Qualcomm Stadium as the game’s host.  

On Wednesday, the organization made an announcements concerning the two bowl games that have been hosted in San Diego. The Poinsetta Bowl will be scrapped, a decision that is effective immediately, while The Holiday Bowl will continue.

Both games have been hosted at Qualcomm Stadium, a facility whose days are numbered now that the San Diego Chargers are relocating to Los Angeles. The stadium is likely to remain open through 2018, after which San Diego officials may decide to demolish the facility. That is due, in part, to concerns about maintenance costs. The timing of Qualcomm Stadium’s removal could also be affected by the proposal for a joint MLS/San Diego State Aztecs football stadium at the site.

That would leave Petco Park, home of MLB’s San Diego Padres, as the most likely location for The Holiday Bowl.  “The Holiday Bowl brings tourism, economic activity and pride to San Diego year after year. Focusing resources on just one event will ensure that the Holiday Bowl remains a top-tier attraction,” San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer said a in statement. “I am excited to have started discussions this week with the Bowl Game Association and the Padres about the possibility of bringing the Holiday Bowl to Petco Park. We remain fully committed to supporting this fantastic game.”

“For now we plan to continue producing the Holiday Bowl and its one-of-a-kind fan experience in Qualcomm Stadium,” San Diego Bowl Game Association executive director Mark Neville said in a statement. “However, Petco Park could one day serve as the ideal home for the Holiday Bowl. It’s certainly a tremendous venue with world-class amenities that our fans would enjoy.”

Petco Park is not tailor made for football, so planners are going to have to spend time working through the logistics. More from the AP (via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch):

The bowl game association said the Padres have begun speaking with the architectural firm that designed Petco Park about what would be required to play football in the downtown ballpark. It’s not currently possible to lay out a regulation football field, and the team’s lease with the city would have to be amended to allow football.

Petco Park has hosted soccer friendlies, but the layout has been smaller than regulation. The ballpark, opened in 2004, holds 42,445 for baseball.

San Diego State’s football program could be in peril if Qualcomm closes after 2018. However, a private group on Monday announced plans for a smaller stadium that could host an MLS team and the Aztecs. That stadium, which would seat between 20,000 and 30,000, wouldn’t be ready until 2020. If necessary, SDSU might be able to play a few seasons at Petco Park.

The Holiday Bowl was launched in 1978, and has been played at Qualcomm Stadium–which was then known as San Diego Stadium–throughout its history.

Image courtesy The Holiday Bowl. 

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