MAC to meet Big East in new Bowl game

The Mid-American Conference is extending its postseason presence into Toronto this football season.

The NCAA announced Thursday that the MAC will be taking part in the new International Bowl. It will be played at noon Jan. 6, 2007, at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. A MAC school will be matched up with a Big East opponent.

The International Bowl is the third bowl opportunity for the MAC. The MAC currently had spots in the GMAC Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. and in the Motor City Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit.

“This will be the only college bowl game played outside of the U.S.,” said Ken Hoffman, executive director for the International Bowl in an online press release. “It is an exciting opportunity for the city of Toronto and two football teams that will have an international experience.”

The International Bowl will be broadcast on ESPN. ESPN has partnered with the International Bowl for a multi-year agreement to broadcast the games in the United States and Canada.

The city of Toronto is looking to bring in tourism and profit from the game. The profits Detroit has brought in from the Motor City Bowl was a major influence for Toronto to host the International Bowl, said Duncan Ross, executive director for Toronto’s Tourism Division.

“The Motor City Bowl in Detroit has provided an average $15 million annual economic impact on that city,” Ross said. “This event not only brings a major attraction to the city for our residents, but also brings with it thousands of U.S. fans that will spend several days enjoying all that Toronto has to offer. The game is televised nationally in the U.S. by ESPN and will offer extensive and far-reaching TV exposure for Toronto.”

— Kali Price