Peterson told co-hosts Randy Myers and Keith Merritt that a bowl game in Little Rock has actually "been a topic of conversation for five or six years, " but added that the possibility of such an idea has definitely picked up momentum in recent months.
The conversation seemed to take off a few weeks ago when it became public knowledge that the Detroit-based Little Caesar's Bowl, which has ties to the MAC and Big 10 conferences, is being forced out of Ford Field in favor of another bowl game with the potential for larger pay-offs. However, Peterson said if Little Rock gets a bowl game, it will be a "start-up" bowl and not a replacement game for the Pizza Bowl or any other contest.
Securing a television deal for a new bowl game is the current top priority for supporters, according to Peterson. "We need a TV partner," he said, adding that ESPN plays a "huge role in the bowl process," and that organizers will meet in the next week with officials from the network.
Another important step in the process is NCAA certification, and Peterson said he hopes to meet soon with Dennis Pope of the organization's bowl certification division.
Speculation for a corporate sponsor for an Arkansas-based bowl game has largely centered around Riceland, and a possible "Rice Bowl," but Peterson said those talks are merely preliminary at this point. "We have had some discussions with Riceland, but certainly nothing in stone at this point."
Peterson said he felt an ideal date and time for a Little Rock bowl game would be an afternoon kick-off on December 20, but that is only "my wish." In addition to the Sun Belt, the game would also have probable ties with either the MAC or Conference-USA.
Randy Myers is the co-host of AstAteNation Radio. The program airs Monday-Friday from 11-1 on The Ticket 970am/95.3fm and on the web at 953theticket.com.
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