DETROIT – The Detroit Lions announced Thursday they have entered into a six-year partnership with the Atlantic Coast Conference for a bowl game that will be played at Ford Field beginning in 2014. The team previously announced a six-year partnership with the Big Ten Conference.
The game will be officially named once sponsorship agreements are in place. The inaugural game is tentatively scheduled for December 30, 2014 (pending TV broadcast schedule).
“We are excited to finalize our conference partnerships for this new bowl game in Detroit,” said Detroit Lions Team President Tom Lewand. “Having representatives from two elite conferences like the ACC and Big Ten will provide fans with an exciting college football postseason matchup for years to come.”
At the end of each college football season, both conferences will determine their team representatives after discussion between bowl and conference officials to create the best possible matchup.
“The new bowl game in Detroit has great potential and support in being hosted by the Detroit Lions, which is a first-class organization,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “We look forward to another postseason matchup with the Big Ten and the opportunity to play at Ford Field.”
The Detroit Lions become only the second NFL team (Houston Texans, 2006) to officially host and operate a college football bowl game. The team’s entertainment division, DLI Entertainment, has promoted multiple large scale shows and events at Ford Field, including seven consecutive sold out Kenny Chesney concerts, Taylor Swift, The Basketbowl (2003), 2008 NCAA Men’s Basketball Regionals, 2009 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four and the 2010 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Frozen Four.