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Fiesta Bowl

The idea for a bowl game in Arizona first came about in 1968, when Arizona State University President G. Homer Durham proposed it at an athletic banquet in 1968. At the time, the only bowl game outside of the South was the Rose Bowl.

On January 10, 1970, a Phoenix group appeared before the NCAA Extra Events committee and proposed the Fiesta Bowl, which was to be a charitable venture with portions of the proceeds going to the fight against drugs. Despite numerous proposals, the NCAA had added only one bowl game in the 1960's, adding the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, which also was a "charity game." The presentation was so thorough that the chairman of the NCAA Extra Events Committee Stan Bates said he had never seen such a prepared group, and that he could "think of no important questions to ask."

Despite the excellent presentation, on April 27, 1970 the the NCAA Council rejected all six bowl bids they had gotten. The group from the Valley of the Sun didn't give up, though, and one year later the council approved a bowl game for Arizona, and the Fiesta Bowl was born.

In the thirty-plus years since, the Fiesta Bowl and its week long celebration has become a standard for other bowl games to follow, hosting four national championship games and continuing to pioneer the way collegiate post-season football is celebrated.

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The Fiesta Bowl on the web...
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