GoMids.com had a chance to speak with Chris Keeney, General Manager, Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, about what Navy fans can expect at the 2009 Texas Bowl. As of Wednesday, Dec. 16, only 6,000 tickets remain for the showdown on New Year's Eve between the Midshipmen (9-4) and the Missouri Tigers (8-4).
GM: Can you give us an update on Ticket Sales?
CK: Each school has done a terrific job in rallying their traveling alumni and local fan bases. I think it's going to be a very spirited game from both school's perspectives which means the atmosphere will be electric and each team is going to feel very much at home in Reliant Stadium.
GM: Why do you think you are selling out?
CK: The game is selling out because both teams are well recognized; have unique and formidable styles of play; have great athletes like Ricky Dobbs and Missouri's Danario Alexander; great loyalty from their passionate supporters; and both teams command the respect of the most savvy football fans in the country: Houstonians.
GM: Can you talk about past attendance figures for the Texas Bowl and how this will compare?
CK: In our first year, 2006, we hosted Kansas State and Rutgers in front of 52,210 fans. 2007 exploded with 62,097 to watch TCU and Houston battle for Texas pride and last year, we had the tremendous support of 58,880 to see Rice and Western Michigan conclude great seasons in style.
The largest bowl in Houston history was the Blue Bonnet Bowl in 1960 with 68,000 fans. The match-up was Alabama vs. Texas. If we are fortunate enough to sell-out, it will be a new record eclipsing 70,000 which will be simply fantastic for our guests, our teams, the ESPN national audience and our Texas pride.
GM: Any special events surrounding the game?
CK: Of course, we are going to have the Midshipmen muster and march into the stadium pre-game which is a spectacular tradition. Missouri was very kind to allow Navy to own most of the pre-game ceremony in exchange for the majority of half-time for their band. Of course, the Mids will all have their own seating section and if the offense delivers as promised, we should see a lot of plebes doing push-ups. If the weather permits, we will have a Navy fly-over. I'm told, from the last time Navy was here, that the jets seem to nearly scrape the paint off the roof so I am certainly anxious to have our crowd experience that.
Other bowl notes…
- About 60 players from both teams hail from Texas
- 3,000 Missouri alumni are from Texas
- Between 5,000 and 6,000 tickets remain for the game
- No official word on each team's allotment and how many of those tickets remain