Official says future is bright for San Diego bowl games

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SAN DIEGO – There's a chance there won't be as much football played at Qualcomm Stadium in the future, but a local official says at least San Diego's bowl games aren't going anywhere.

Every year, San Diego hosts two bowl games: the Poinsettia Bowl and the Holiday Bowl.

Mark Neville, executive director of the San Diego Bowl Game Association, says this year's bowl games were a great success.

"Right now, we're going strong," Neville said. "For both games, our ticket sales were up over the year prior and I always take that as a positive. Television numbers were good. From what I understand, we did better for the Poinsettia Bowl than we did the year prior, and we were right about the same for the Holiday [Bowl]."

Nearly 52,000 tickets were sold for the 39th annual holiday bowl between Washington State University and the University of Minnesota. More than 31,000 tickets were sold for the 12th annual Poinsettia Bowl between Brigham Young University and the University of Wyoming.

Neville says the future is bright for both bowls in San Diego.

"We're watching just as everybody else is, but it's too early to say what the bowl games will do depending on whether or not the Chargers leave or stay," Neville said when asked about any impact a Chargers move might have on the bowls. "Right now, this is our home, Qualcomm Stadium is our home and it will be like that for a while."

Read More: Chargers to lease property in Costa Mesa for headquarters, practice facility

Neville says next week, it's time to start working on 2017.

"Bowl games have to work harder, get more creative as we've been doing, especially this last year, and really focus on creating a tremendous experience for the fans. And we really took a good step towards doing that this year," Neville said.

The San Diego Tourism Authority says the bowl games are vital, especially during a typically slow time during the year. The local economic impact from the bowl games last year was about $23.6 million, and bowl officials expect those numbers to go up this year.

"I think it's safe to say that San Diego is the best bowl destination in America, hands down," Neville said.

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