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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, July 19, 2001

Former O'ahu Bowl secure in Seattle

Advertiser Staff

Half of what used to be Hawai'i's holiday college football bowl package has found a promising home in Seattle.

The Seattle Bowl, formerly the O'ahu Bowl, will be played Dec. 27 at Safeco Field and shown on ESPN, the network announced yesterday.

The game, which had been played at Aloha Stadium since 1998, featured Hawai'i against Oregon State in 1999.

The Seattle Bowl will match the fourth-place teams from the Pac-10 and Atlantic Coast Conference and is tied to ESPN through 2005, according to Jim Haugh, president of the Sports and Events Council of Seattle. The game moves to the NFL Seahawks' new 72,000-seat stadium in 2002.

Haugh said Jeep has been dropped as a title sponsor and the game is soliciting other companies in the Seattle area.

The fate of Aloha Sports Inc.'s other bowl, the former Aloha Bowl, remains unresolved. That game, which has been held at Aloha Stadium since 1982, was tentatively set for San Francisco's Pac Bell Park, although no television deal has been announced.

Fritz Rohlfing, president of Aloha Sports Inc., cited declining attendance and support in securing approval from the NCAA to move the games.

Pac-10 officials say Aloha Sports Inc. has until the end of the month at the conference meetings to firm up details for the San Francisco game or risk losing its attachment to the conference.

"If one bowl does not come off," said a Pac-10 spokesman, "the other team will go to the Las Vegas Bowl."

The hangup in San Francisco appears to be over television. The Aloha Bowl's contract with ABC expired after the last game and a new deal requires agreement on a date. ABC was known to favor the Christmas Day concept but organizers have been targeting Dec. 30 instead.