Blinn Receives Approval for College Bowl Game in B/CS

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Bryan/College Station will play host to a football bowl game.

The National Junior College Athletic Association has approved the "Brazos Valley Bowl Presented by Blinn College." Two top teams from the junior college ranks will face off at Kyle Field in late December.

Late last year, College Station committed $25,000 of hotel occupancy tax funds for renting facilities, but the Convention and Visitors Bureau says the economic impact to the region could be up to $1 million.

"There's already been interest, corporate interest as well as small businesses wanting to be part of this because they know how exciting this is," said Ted Raspiller, the president of Blinn's Brazos County campuses, on "First News at Four" Monday. "We're going to take advantage of all of those in a way that showcases not just football, not just colleges, but everything this community has."

Raspiller says the Brazos Valley Bowl could potentially be the NJCAA championship game, but that will determined closer to the game. He also says the plan is for the bowl to be an annual event.

The following is the press release from Blinn College:

At its annual meeting last week in Colorado Springs, Colo., the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) approved a junior college football bowl game to be hosted in College Station and Bryan. With approval from the NJCAA’s championship events committee and a vote of support by the organization’s board, the first-ever “Brazos Valley Bowl presented by Blinn College” will kick off in early December 2012.

Officials from Blinn College and the Bryan-College Station Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) traveled to Colorado to pitch the Brazos Valley Bowl presented by Blinn College. The presentation detailed broad community support for the game, which officials would like to host at Kyle Field.

“A bowl game in the Brazos Valley is both an economic boost for local merchants and an excellent way to showcase Blinn College to a broader group of potential students,” said Dr. Ted Raspiller, president of Blinn’s Brazos County campuses. “Our community does a marvelous job making visitors feel welcome, and we know how much our local residents love football. The bowl is a win for everyone.”

The NJCAA currently sanctions eight bowls across the county, including games in Kansas, Arizona, Utah, Iowa, Mississippi and Copperas Cove, Texas.

The City of College Station signaled its support for a junior college bowl as early as December 2011 by committing $25,000 of Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funds to help offset the cost of renting game-day facilities.

The city had been reviewing the proposal for the game since November. A majority of City Council members expressed support for the use of HOT funds to seed a local event that could potentially bring thousands of attendees to the region.

Last Fall, the CVB and Blinn had partnered in discussions about how the College could help bring tourism and economic activity to the region during the historically sluggish month of December. According to economic impact estimates, a junior college bowl game in the Brazos Valley could generate up to $1 million in economic impact as thousands of attendees shop, stay in hotels and eat at restaurants over the course of a bowl game weekend.

The game furthers Blinn’s community service mission while spreading the word to thousands of potential students about its high-quality offerings in hundreds of academic and technical courses.

Local and regional sponsors began lining up with support in November, when the proposal for a Brazos Valley bowl game was publicized. Now, with approval by the NJCAA, a title sponsor will be selected and the committees responsible for hosting and gameday activities will swing into action.

The game is slated for early December 2012, likely the first available weekend according to scheduling by the NJCAA.