San Diego, CA–The San Diego Padres have a new partnership with the San Diego Bowl Game Association that will allow the 43-year-old San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl to be played at Petco Park for a minimum of the next five years, beginning with this year’s December 2021 match-up.
“The Padres are excited to welcome the Holiday Bowl to Petco Park and keep this long-standing tradition where it belongs; in San Diego,” said Erik Greupner, CEO of the San Diego Padres. “Petco Park is a world-class venue, and we are thrilled to welcome college football fans to what will be a truly unique bowl game experience.”
During its tenure in San Diego, the non-profit SDCCU Holiday Bowl has generated significant economic, tourism and cultural benefits for the entire San Diego Region. Since 1978, it has generated $977 million dollars in total economic impact and has secured more than 819,000 hotel room nights at local hotels during one of the slowest weeks for San Diego tourism. With the COVID-19 pandemic and redevelopment of the Mission Valley stadium site, the Holiday Bowl’s 2020 game was cancelled and its future in San Diego was uncertain until formation of the partnership to play at Petco Park.
“The SDCCU Holiday Bowl has been a San Diego institution for more than four decades, and we are excited to partner with the Padres to continue building on our legacy in America’s Finest City,” said Mark Neville, CEO of the Holiday Bowl. “Marching bands, cheering fans and game-day spirit were absent from bowl game celebrations last year, but that is all about to change as we prepare to play at Petco Park.”
The Padres and Holiday Bowl were joined for the announcement by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, Council President Jennifer Campbell, San Diego County Credit Union, the Pac-12, ACC, San Diego Tourism Authority and the Downtown San Diego Partnership, among others.
“The ACC is thrilled to be part of the SDCCU Holiday Bowl, and we look forward to having a team represent the conference in one of the premier postseason bowl games,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips. “We appreciate our SDCCU Holiday Bowl partnership which provides a tremendous annual opportunity for our student-athletes, teams, alumni and fans. San Diego is one of the most beautiful cities in America, the RedCoats are a phenomenal group of volunteer ambassadors and to have the game played in Petco Park adds even more excitement to the overall experience.”
“Few traditions represent the West Coast each year as perfectly as the Holiday Bowl in America’s Finest City,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “We are thrilled for this premiere event to take place in one of the great sporting venues across our region at San Diego’s Petco Park.”
“I fully support the new partnership between the Padres and the Holiday Bowl and look forward to seeing San Diegans and visitors alike come together to enjoy the 2021 bowl game at Petco Park,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “This agreement will sustain the Holiday Bowl Association’s legacy, showcase our great city on a national stage and bolster San Diego’s local economy.”
Hosting the Holiday Bowl at Petco Park will require San Diego City Council approval to amend the Joint Use Management Agreement (JUMA), which is slated to occur this summer. If approved by City Council, the amendment would permit football to be played at Petco Park. With the 2021 game quickly approaching, the Padres have begun planning and design efforts to accommodate the Holiday Bowl at Petco Park with construction slated to begin this fall after the conclusion of the Padres MLB season.
“Petco Park is a perfect venue for the Holiday Bowl,” said Council President Jen Campbell. “I know San Diego is excited to keep this hallmark event here, in the only home this game has ever known.”
“The partnership of the Padres and SDCCU Holiday Bowl will retain a beloved San Diego tradition and generate significant economic and community benefits for the entire region,” said San Diego City Council President Pro Tem Stephen Whitburn. “Just like Padres fans and other ballpark event attendees have experienced for decades, NCAA football will be able to enjoy everything Petco Park and Downtown San Diego have to offer.”
Tickets for the Holiday Bowl will go on sale in September 2021.