PROVO — BYU’s long-awaited 2014 bowl plans became official Tuesday.
The Cougars have agreed to play in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl in December at Marlins Park in Miami.
The American Athletic Conference, which owns and administers the bowl, made the announcement. The Miami Beach Bowl will pit BYU against an AAC opponent. Date, time and broadcast information will be released later.
For months, BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe has said he has been working on “something new” for this year’s bowl destination.
“We are excited our football program has the opportunity to participate in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl against a team from the AAC,” Holmoe said in a statement. “Marlins Park is a fantastic facility and we look forward to being in Miami in December.”
The Cougars, presuming they are bowl eligible, will play in the Miami Beach Bowl unless they are selected to the college football playoff or one of the New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day bowl games.
BYU plays three AAC foes during the regular season — at UConn (in the season-opener on Aug. 29), against Houston (on Sept. 11) and at Central Florida (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.”
The Cougars are scheduled to play in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego in 2016 and 2018. They have not announced any bowl arrangements for 2015.
BYU has played in a bowl game in the state of Florida twice — the 1976 Tangerine Bowl and the 1985 Citrus Bowl. Both games were played in Orlando, and the Cougars lost both games, to Oklahoma State and Ohio State, respectively. The Cougars are 0-5 all-time in games played in the Sunshine State.
“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.”
Marlins Park, home of the Miami Beach Bowl, opened in 2012 and is also home of the Major League Baseball franchise, the Miami Marlins. Marlins Park holds 34,000 seats for football and features 50 luxury suites, a retractable roof, climate controlled temperatures and a natural grass surface.