PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The American Athletic Conference and the Miami Beach Bowl today announced they has reached an agreement with BYU to have the Cougars participate in the inaugural bowl game in December 2014 at Marlins Park in Miami. The Miami Beach Bowl is owned and administered by the American Athletic Conference and will feature the Cougars versus one of its member institutions.
“We are excited our football program has the opportunity to participate in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl against a team from the AAC,” said BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe. “Marlins Park is a fantastic facility and we look forward to being in Miami in December.”
If bowl eligible, BYU will participate in the Miami Beach Bowl in December, unless selected to participate in the college football playoff or one of the New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day bowl games. In addition to the Miami Beach Bowl matchup, BYU will face three AAC teams during the 2014 regular season. UConn hosts the Cougars on Aug. 29 to open the season. Houston visits Provo Sept. 11, while UCF will entertain BYU Oct. 9.
“We are excited about this outstanding opportunity to have one of our teams play BYU in the Miami Beach Bowl,” said AAC commissioner Mike Aresco. “Our representative will have the opportunity to compete against a respected and accomplished BYU team with a storied history and national following, which will make the Miami Beach Bowl one of the most exciting postseason games in 2014. This matchup quickly establishes the game as one of the premier bowls in the coming years.”
BYU finished the 2013 season with an 8-5 record that included wins over Texas, Georgia Tech, Boise State and Houston. The Cougars earned bowl eligibility for the ninth consecutive season under head coach Bronco Mendenhall, tied for the nation’s 10th-longest current bowl streak. BYU has previously played two bowl games in the state of Florida — the 1976 Tangerine Bowl and the 1985 Citrus Bowl, both in Orlando.
“We are delighted to have Brigham Young University on board for the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl,” said Miami Beach Bowl executive director Carlos Padilla. “BYU is one of the most-respected programs, with one of the most passionate fan bases in the nation. With BYU and an American Athletic Conference team in our first game, we expect to have great interest and support from the Miami and Miami Beach communities and will deliver an exciting game for college football fans everywhere.”
The Miami Beach Bowl staff is based in Marlins Park, which opened in 2012 and serves as the home of Major League Baseball's Miami Marlins. The state-of-the-art facility will seat 34,000 for football and has 50 luxury suites, a retractable roof, climate controlled temperatures and a natural grass surface.
The American Athletic Conference enjoyed a highly successful debut season in 2013 as the conference placed two teams in the top 15 of the final national polls. UCF, which won the inaugural American Athletic Conference title, finished the season ranked No. 10 nationally after a win against Big 12 champion Baylor in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Date, time and broadcast information will be released at a later date.