HONOLULU – The University of Houston and Fresno State will participate in the 2017 HAWAI‘I BOWL, announced by Hawai‘i Bowl executive director Daryl Garvin. The game will pit the Cougars (7-4) of the American Athletic Conference against the Bulldogs (9-4) of the Mountain West.
The 2017 HAWAI‘I BOWL is scheduled for Christmas Eve (Sunday, Dec. 24) at Aloha Stadium. Kick-off is 8:30 p.m. EST/3:30 p.m. HST and will air on ESPN and ESPN Radio. All games aired on an ESPN network will also be available through the ESPN app, computers, smartphones, tablets and streaming devices to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider.
Fans can purchase tickets online at www.eTicketHawaii.com and print them on their home computer. They can also visit the Stan Sheriff Center Box Office and Aloha Stadium Box Office (Monday– Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or call (808) 944-2697 during the same hours.
“On behalf of the Hawai‘i Bowl Executive Committee, I congratulate Houston and Fresno State on their successful seasons and look forward to an exciting match-up at Aloha Stadium,” Garvin said. “Throughout bowl week, the players, coaches and fans will experience the Aloha Spirit combined with the holiday season to make for a once in a lifetime bowl experience.”
Under first-year head coach Major Applewhite, the Cougars will make their second trip to the HAWAI‘I BOWL and first since appearing in the 2003 game. UH, which finished second in The American’s West Division, will play in a bowl game for the fifth consecutive season and 12th in the last 15 years. Applewhite took over the program full-time this season after coaching the Cougars in last year’s Las Vegas Bowl. Despite playing 11 games in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Applewhite became only the fifth coach in school history to lead his team to a bowl game in his first season as head coach.
“We’re excited to head to Hawai‘i to face Fresno State in this year’s Hawai‘i Bowl,” Applewhite said. “The trip provides not only a great reward for our program, but a great challenge as well. Coach Tedford’s teams have always been well-coached and prepared, and we know we will receive their best efforts. Our preparation starts today and our focus will be on sending our seniors out as one of the most-winningest classes in program history.”
Fresno State will appear in its third HAWAI‘I BOWL since 2012 and will make its first bowl game since the 2014 HAWAI‘I BOWL and 15th overall bowl in the last 19 years. The West Division champion Bulldogs finished as MW runners-up after falling to Boise State 17-14 in the championship game on Saturday. After posting a 1-11 mark in 2016, first-year head coach Jeff Tedford led Fresno State to an eight-win improvement, which is among the highest in FBS history.
“To finish this incredible season that Coach Tedford has led our program to with the Hawai‘i Bowl is an honor,” said interim AD Steve Robertello. “We look forward to returning to the Islands and representing the Mountain West.”
The American teams have appeared in the HAWAI‘I BOWL just once prior with Cincinnati competing in the 2015 game. Houston, which appeared in the 2003 HAWAI‘I BOWL as members of the Conference USA, lost to Hawai‘i 54-48 in triple overtime in one of the bowl’s most exciting games.
Mountain West teams have appeared in the HAWAI‘I BOWL every year since 2012. Fresno State is 0-2 in two previous HAWAI‘I BOWL appearances with losses to SMU (43-10) in 2012 and Rice (30-6) in 2014. However, MW teams have won the last two Hawai‘i Bowls – San Diego State in 2015 and Hawai‘i in 2016.
The participating teams will be enjoying accommodations at the Sheraton Waikiki and Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort and Spa with our official resort partner, SPG Resorts.
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.
ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Florida); Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); DXL Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); The Home Depot College Football Awards Presented by Gildan (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)
AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Ramstein Air Base, Germany); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (Hartford, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 presented by State Farm (Portland, Ore.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off; State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)
About the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority is responsible for strategically managing the State of Hawai‘i’s marketing initiatives to support tourism, the leading industry for the Hawaiian Islands. HTA’s goal is to optimize tourism’s benefits for Hawai‘i, while being attentive to the interests of travelers, the visitor industry and general public. HTA annually supports a wide range of Hawaiian cultural celebrations, community festivals and sports events to perpetuate Hawai‘i’s legacy and showcase the islands’ natural resources.