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SAN DIEGO – San Diego’s annual SDCCU Holiday Bowl is canceled this year in a decision officials said Thursday was due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Canceling the late December game, put on annually since 1978 by the San Diego Bowl Game Association, was a difficult decision by the board, Holiday Bowl CEO Mark Neville said in a statement. The board voted unanimously not to play the game, the latest in a long line of pandemic-related cancellations this year.

Bowl week activities including the Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade also are canceled for 2020, officials said.

“While it’s not the decision we wanted to make, it’s the right decision for our non-profit association and the community for the long term,” Neville said, adding that the virus “created a situation in that we wouldn’t be able to welcome fans, ultimately resulting in no tourism” for the community.

This year’s game was supposed to the first in a new six-year series of bowl matchups by Pac-12 and ACC teams. Prior to this year, the Big Ten had been affiliated with the game since 2014 with No. 19 Iowa defeating No. 22 USC in its last iteration.

Dan Moore, president of the bowl game association, said the game will return next year “stronger than ever and with unparalleled enthusiasm.”

“We are fortunate to have a strong relationship with our title sponsor SDCCU, FOX Sports, the ACC, the Pac-12 and many others,” Moore said. “While we all share the disappointment with the decision, each has been understanding and very supportive.”