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SAN DIEGO – The date is now set for this year’s SDCCU Holiday Bowl, potentially the first time the game will be played in three years due to pandemic cancellations.

Kickoff for the 43rd annual edition of the game will be at 5 p.m. Dec. 28 at Petco Park, organizers announced Thursday. Last year was supposed to mark the inaugural edition of the game at the downtown ballpark after years at the now-demolished SDCCU Stadium in Mission Valley, but the game was canceled when the UCLA Bruins pulled out of it over a COVID-19 outbreak among players.

Officials also axed the previous year’s edition, a historic first for the game since it was established in 1978.

If the new date holds, the game will mark the first-ever football game played at Petco Park.

“We’re excited to announce the 2022 bowl game date,” Holiday Bowl President Cherry Park said in a statement. “Last year’s cancellation was certainly challenging and heartbreaking for college football fans and the entire San Diego community. We can’t wait for December 28 to finally bring the game and the amazing experience to Petco Park and downtown San Diego.”

Also back this year are a series of events in the lead-up to the game, including a concert, a downtown San Diego street party known as the Snapdragon Bowl Bash and the Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade.

The move to play football at Petco Park was cleared by San Diego City Council last year in a joint agreement with the Padres, effectively modifying the agreement which previously prohibited the sport from being played there.

When last year’s game was announced, Padres CEO Erik Greupner said it was “a truly one-of-a-kind experience among all college football bowl games.”

Officials say tickets will go on sale to the general public in August after being first made available to annual bowl game ticketholders. Those interested in attending the game can add their names to the ticket list online by clicking or tapping here or calling 619-283-5808 Ext. 303.

The game also will be nationally televised and airing on FOX 5.