Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
Many will say this is peak 2020: The 15th annual New Mexico Bowl will take place in Texas.
That’s right, due to the current state guidelines in New Mexico pertaining to COVID-19 cases, Hawaii (4-4) and Houston (3-4) will not play at the bowl’s home since its inception, University Stadium in Albuquerque. Instead, ESPN Events, which owns the bowl, has moved it to Toyota Stadium in Frisco on Thursday.
Nonetheless, New Mexico Bowl sponsors such as Visit Albuquerque will support the game, advertise the city’s attractiveness as a place to live, work and play and encourage Texans and those watching the game to visit – of course, when things clear up.
“Albuquerque has been synonymous with the New Mexico Bowl since its inception 15 years ago,” Tania Armenta, president & CEO of Visit Albuquerque, said in an email. “It will be difficult not to have this bowl game take place in the city this December, but as a proud sponsor of the event, we will be able to keep Albuquerque top-of-mind with those looking to experience the city when the time is right.”
Armenta and Visit Albuquerque declined to disclose its monetary sponsorship with the New Mexico Bowl. Albuquerque’s presence will be felt in Frisco with two 30-second commercials during the national broadcast of the game on ESPN and on the radio. The commercials will also be played on the scoreboard in the stadium. About 5,000 fans will be allowed for attendance in a stadium that seats 20,000.
There will be two 15-second public address announcements for Visit Albuquerque in the stadium, a 75-foot LED board, which will be visible during the telecast, and a 12-foot banner along the field sideline.
Usually during TV broadcasts of bowl games a live look of the host town is shown. ESPN will show video footage of Albuquerque during game breaks, Armenta said.
“As a game sponsor, Visit Albuquerque will use the broadcast as an opportunity to showcase our beautiful city to a national audience with a significant viewership,” Armenta said. “The commercials will make New Mexicans proud, raise the profile of our city and encourage people around the country to learn more about our community. … We know these messages will keep inspiring interest in Albuquerque and New Mexico and keep us on the radar for critical economic recovery activity in the future.”
Armenta said Visit Albuquerque representatives will not be at the game. New Mexico Bowl executive director Jeff Siembieda said he and a few staff members will be, however.
New Mexicans have helped in creating the trophy and awards, supplying product for the teams and supporting the event, Siembieda said.
“Our intent is to continue to promote Albuquerque and New Mexico in the midst of the ongoing challenges,” Siembieda said in an email. “We are grateful to the city, state, partners and fans for their continued support despite the game’s move to Frisco for this year’s event. Visit Albuquerque has remained as a presenting sponsor of our event, and we have received support from the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County and many of our local partners.”