I have been involved with Houston’s annual collegiate bowl since its inception in 2006. The Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas is a celebration of the Culture, Heritage and Football Tradition of the Lone Star State. Over the past five years, it has become one of the most successful post season games in the country. This is a great testament to the people who have been volunteering their time and energy to create a unique college football experience.
The Bowl is a true mark of Houston’s ability to get things done. Back in 2006, the NCAA was about to revoke Houston’s bowl license due to a lack of support and success of the Houston Bowl. (aka the galleryfurniture.com and EV1.net Bowls) Bob McNair, owner of the Houston Texans, stepped in and the Texas Bowl was born.
Reliant Stadium has always been the Bowl’s greatest asset. There are only a handful of bowls in the country that can boast Super Bowl caliber facilities. And while Jerryworld has set a new standard in football stadiums, Reliant continues to be one of the best places to watch football in America.
This past year, the Texas Bowl became the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. Yeah, that’s a mouthful. However, it’s a great moment for the Bowl. Last year, there were two collegiate bowls without corporate sponsors; the Texas Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl. It is a testament to the quality of the operation we have here in Houston that the Bowl has been able to be successful without the benefit of a corporate sponsor this long.
Ignoring the name, having a national corporate sponsor means a bigger payout for the teams involved. Bigger payouts means better teams, better teams mean a bigger, better Bowl.
The Texas Bowl built a very strong reputation as a hospitable and enjoyable experience for the teams, their families and fans. Ron Zook, head coach of Illinois, even went so far last year to say Houston put on a better bowl week than the Rose Bowl, the bowl TCU won last year! GO FROGS!
The name has changed, but the reputation stays the same. We will continue to host one of the best bowl experiences in the country, and continue to garner the attention of schools across the country.
However, the future of the Bowl will ultimately depend on Houstonians. If you look at any of the bowls across the country, you’ll find local support (i.e. ticket sales) is the main ingredient to their success. Here in Houston, we have been able to gradually build our local ticket sales year to year, but they must continue to grow if the Bowl is going to become one of the biggest bowl games in the country.
I will also mention the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas donates a portion of the proceeds to the DePelchin Children’s Center. In the past five years, the Bowl has raised over $400,000 for Houston’s largest, most comprehensive provider of mental health, prevention and early intervention, and foster care and adoption services. This does not include the incredible amount of free marketing and advertising DePelchin receives as a Bowl partner.
I’m adding the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas to Annual Houston because I don’t think it had reached its full potential. As more people support the Bowl, the better the chance of getting better teams and more national attention. Like I said above, Houston has an incredible management team in place, it just needs more support to ascend to the upper echelon of collegiate bowl games.
Even better, I’m going to give you the heads up on an amazing ticket offer for this year’s game. I have the great honor to chair the Sideline Soiree. The Sideline Soiree is a new way to enjoy the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. For $75, you get a ticket to the Bowl in the exclusive Reliant Stadium Director’s Club, plus open bar (through halftime) and a delicious brunch buffet. Even better, this year’s Bowl kicks off at 11:00AM on Saturday, December 31. There won’t be a better way to kick off your New Year’s Eve Festivities than the Sideline Soiree. Buy your tickets today by calling 832-667-2210. There are a limited number of tickets available, and they will most definitely sell out quickly.