Gophers Accept Invite to 2006 Insight Bowl

Minnesota has accepted an invitation to compete in the 2006 Insight Bowl. The Gophers will face a Big 12 opponent on Friday, Dec. 29 at 6:30 p.m. (CST) at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. The game will be televised by NFL Network.

"Speaking for myself, my staff and my football team, we couldn't be happier to be invited to the Insight Bowl in Tempe," said Minnesota head coach Glen Mason. "It's a great bowl destination where many Minnesotans have homes and I am sure that our fans will be excited to see us play."

"We are very excited about the opportunity to compete in the Insight Bowl," said Minnesota Director of Athletics Joel Maturi. "We look forward to our loyal fans joining our strong alumni base in the Tempe area to watch our fifth straight bowl game. I know that everyone affiliated with the football program is ecstatic with the way we finished the season, and the Insight Bowl will be a great reward for our student-athletes, coaches and fans."

"We are thrilled to begin a relationship with the Big Ten by having Minnesota play in the Insight Bowl," said Executive Director John Junker. "Coach Mason, his staff, and the Gopher players had a memorable November and we look forward to a great matchup between Minnesota and the Big 12 in Tempe on December 29th."

The Gophers (6-6) will be appearing in their fifth consecutive bowl game for the first time in school history and this will also be the program's seventh bowl appearance in the past eight seasons. The Gophers will join Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin as the only Big Ten teams to play in a bowl game in seven of the past eight seasons.

Minnesota has won three of its past four bowl games. The Gophers defeated Arkansas, 29-14, in the 2002 Music City Bowl, defeated Oregon, 31-30, in the 2003 Sun Bowl and won the 2004 Music City Bowl, 20-16, over Alabama before losing to Virginia, 34-31, last season in the Music City Bowl. The Gophers have also participated in the 1999 Sun Bowl and the 2000 Micronpc.com Bowl during head football coach Glen Mason's 10 seasons at Minnesota.

This year's game marks the 18th annual Insight Bowl, the third trip by a Big Ten team and the first appearance by a Big Ten representative since Wisconsin played Utah in 1996.

Ticket Information Tickets for the Insight Bowl will go on sale immediately through the University of Minnesota Athletics Ticket Office. Football season ticket holders will have until Friday, Dec. 8 to place orders for priority seating. Ticket orders from season ticket holders and from the general public will be accepted at the Athletics Ticket Office in person from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday or by calling (612) 624-8080 inside the metro area or 1-800-U-GOPHER outside the metro area. Tickets may also be ordered online at www.gophersports.com. To ensure seating in the Minnesota section, fans must place orders through the University ticket office or online at gophersports.com.

FAN TRAVEL INFORMATION University of Minnesota Athletics and the Alumni Association are sponsoring the official bowl tour for Gopher fans and are working with Creative Charters to organize air, hotel and activity packages. Information on travel packages will be available at www.gophersports.com, or by contacting Steve or Dorthy Erban at (651) 748-0080 or 1-888-612-0323, or visit Creative Charters website at www.creativecharter.com.

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