FORT WORTH, TEXAS (December 22, 2009) With eight “selling” days left before the kickoff of the 2009 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, more than 40,000 tickets have been sold for the New Year’s Eve game featuring the University of Houston against the United States Air Force Academy at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
The “pass first” 10-3 Cougars of Houston (ranked 25th in the latest USA Today poll and 27th in the AP rankings) meet the 7-5 “pass defense first” Falcons of Air Force in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl here December 31. The seventh annual post-season game kicks off at 11 a.m. (CST) at Amon G. Carter Stadium and will be aired live on ESPN.
“We are very pleased with our sales to date,” said Brant B. Ringler, the executive director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. “The Armed Forces theme combined with a post-Christmas date has been a definitive plus in our attendance surge the past three years.”
The past two Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls have featured record crowds. The 2007 game between Air Force and Cal attracted 40,905 fans while Houston’s win over the Falcons last New Year’s Eve was witnessed by 41,127 in-house fans at the sold out 44,358-seat Amon G. Carter Stadium. Prior to 2007, the best attendance mark was for the inaugural game in 2003 when Boise State defeated TCU 34-31 before 38,028 fans.
Ringler, along with many others, feels that this year’s game is one of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl’s most interesting matchups as the contest features the No. 1 passing offense in the country (Houston) against the No. 1 pass defense (Air Force) among the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools. In addition, Air Force is ranked third in rushing offense.
“This game has created a lot of comments from the national press as one of the most intriguing matchups during the bowl season,” Ringler added. “It is expected to be a high-scoring affair. Houston has a quick-hitting attack featuring a quarterback (Case Keenum) that ranks among the nation’s best. Air Force will try to slow the Cougars by controlling the ball.”
Ticket prices for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl are $50 for sideline seats, $40 for upper deck seats and $20 for end-zone tickets. Military veterans receive half off any $50 or $40 seat and active-duty personnel get in free via the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl corporate military ticket underwriting program. A portion of local ticket sales will go to designated military charities (USO & Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund). Tickets for this year’s game can be obtained by calling the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl office at 817/810-0012, or by going to the Web site for more information at www.ArmedForcesBowl.com.