With eight 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 Houston against Air Force at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.
The “pass first” 10-3 Cougars of Houston (ranked 25th in the USA Today poll and 27th in the AP) meet the 7-5 “pass defense first” Falcons. The seventh annual postseason game kicks off at 10 a.m. (MST) and will be aired live on ESPN.
“We are very pleased with our sales to date,” said Brant B. Ringler, executive director of the 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 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 fans at the sold out 44,358-seat 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.
Ticket prices 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 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 bowl office at 817-810-0012, or by going to the Web site for more information at www.ArmedForcesBowl.com.