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The San Diego Bowl Game Association is a non-profit organization and has a mission of generating tourism, exposure, economic benefit and civic pride for San Diego and its citizens by producing the nation's most exciting bowl game and festival of events.
The Holiday Bowl initially was conceived to annually feature the Western Athletic Conference champion against a nationally-ranked opponent. The WAC champion served as automatic host team in the Bowl from 1978 through 1994. From the game's inception through 1990, the Bowl matched the WAC champion against an at-large team. In 1991, the Bowl reached an agreement to have the Big Ten third selection play the WAC champion.
In 1995, an agreement was reached between the Holiday Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Pac-10, Big 12 and WAC. The Pac-10 runner-up or WAC champion would play in either the Holiday or Cotton Bowl and the Big 12 third selection would play in the Holiday Bowl.
After the breakup of the WAC in 1997, the Holiday Bowl signed agreements with the Pac-10 and Big 12 conferences. Currently, the Pac-10 runner-up serves as the game's anchor team to oppose the third selection from the Big 12.
From that first kickoff on December 22, 1978, the Holiday Bowl has been a financial success. In its first year, the Holiday Bowl paid out a modest $218,645 to Navy and BYU. In 2005, Oklahoma and Oregon each received just over $2 million.
The game also serves as an annual economic boon to the San Diego Community. The 2006 game brought over 41,000 visitors to San Diego who filled 38,128 San Diego hotel room nights and contributed $41 million to the local economy. In it's 29-year history, the Holiday Bowl has generated $400 million in economic impact.
- Katharine LiMandri
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