Chase Field in downtown Phoenix will continue to host the Cactus Bowl, with the game slated to remain at the venue through at least 2019.
Tuesday’s matchup between Kansas State and UCLA marked the third consecutive Cactus Bowl to be played at Chase Field, which is the home of MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks. The game moved to the facility when Sun Devil Stadium–home to Arizona State University football–began its multi-phase renovation.
With renovations at Sun Devil Stadium scheduled to continue over the next couple of years, the Cactus Bowl will remain at Chase Field. Fiesta Bowl Executive Director Mike Nealy confirmed that an option has been exercised to stay at the venue through through 2019. More from ArizonaSports.com:
Ongoing renovations at Sun Devil Stadium and the success of the game in central Phoenix were two of the biggest factors in the decision, Nealy said. Sun Devil Stadium recently entered the final phase of its renovations with the majority of that phase expected to be complete by the start of the 2018 college football season. Additional interior finishing will take place in 2019, however.
“I think ASU could have handled us next year and I think we could have made it work out, but they’re not quite done with everything so as we talked through it with the group here and at ASU, it made sense to stay here for the two more years after this and then we’ll see,” Nealy said. “The two years will come up pretty quick and there will be a lot of conversations with (Vice President for University Athletics) Ray Anderson and ASU. You can’t go wrong at either venue.
“ASU has put a lot of effort into the renovations of Sun Devil Stadium. They have programmed that facility for a lot of events, 365 days a year, so I’m sure they’d love to have a marquee event like ours and I’m not against that at all.”
Chase Field had previously hosted the Cactus Bowl from 2000-2005, when it was known as Bank One Ballpark. It is one of three MLB ballparks that is being used for bowl games this year, joining the Tampa Bay Rays’ Tropicana Field (Gasparilla Bowl) and the New York Yankees’ Yankee Stadium (Pinstripe Bowl).
Image courtesy Cactus Bowl.