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New Orleans Bowl Headed to Cajun Country


New Orleans Bowl Headed to Cajun Country

GNOSF President/CEO Jay Cicero speaks to the media on Tuesday
LAFAYETTE, La. - New is definitely the catch word around the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation.

The group that runs the New Orleans Bowl got a new date this year. And after the devastation in New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina, the game will have a new site in 2005.

The GNOSF announced Tuesday that Lafayette, La., will be the host of this year's New Orleans Bowl – moving the bowl season's first game to "Cajun Country," as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Cajun Field will be the site of the Dec. 20 contest.

The game, which pits the Sun Belt Conference champion against an opponent from Conference USA, will air live on ESPN at 6 p.m. CT at the 31,000-seat facility.

Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Wright Waters, who was instrumental in the game's beginning in 2001, was excited that a league school will be showcased as the host.

"We are very pleased that Lafayette has been designated the host city for this year's New Orleans Bowl," Waters said. "The officials with the city of Lafayette along with the Louisiana-Lafayette administration and athletic department will serve as tremendous hosts.

"The Sun Belt Conference office also looks forward to working with local and university officials and assisting with this special event. This is an excellent opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. Those who have been to Lafayette know how fabulous it is, and those who go there for the first time will have a great visit. I know this will prove to be a first-class and enjoyable experience for everyone."

The game was moved to Lafayette due to storm damage to the Louisiana Superdome. Jay Cicero, President/CEO of the GNOSF, and the entire New Orleans Bowl staff wanted the game in Louisiana. Working with numerous groups in Lafayette, they got their wish.

"The Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation has been unwavering in our desire to keep the New Orleans Bowl in Louisiana," Cicero said. "Everyone's patience and diligence through this process has been phenomenal, and we are all excited about the payoff. Lafayette provides a number of key elements we wanted in a host city.

"Most importantly, it compliments the unique culturally rich backdrop and Cajun hospitality that our participating teams and visitors are accustomed to, and the spirit of our Bowl that cant be found anywhere other than South Louisiana. Additionally, by keeping the bowl next door, our economic development mission for the State of Louisiana can be realized in a region that is hard at work in the aftermath of the recent storms."

The event could bring a $15 million economic impact for the local economy.

More information on the 2005 New Orleans Bowl can be found at www.NewOrleansBowl.com
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