Greenville bidding for new bowl game in 2020

NewsChannel 12 confirms Greenville is one of the locations bidding for a new college bowl game to begin in 2020. (ECU Athletics photo)

NewsChannel 12 confirms Greenville is one of the locations bidding for a new college bowl game to begin in 2020.

Arthur Rich is the co-founder of what is proposed to be called the “BAR-B-Q Bowl.” The focus would be on agricultural and tourism, helping people in need and could bring anywhere between six to eight million dollars to Greenville, as well as add 250-300 jobs in the area.

The idea was first presented to the Pirate Club in 2004, but it did not go forward. Rich believes infrastructure improvements and advancements at Dowdy-Ficklin Stadium make it possible now.

College football insider Brett McMurphy reports the NCAA is considering adding three bowl games in the 2020 season.

McMurphy reports that Chicago and Myrtle Beach, S.C. are "near locks" for hosting two of the thee new games. The third location is still up for grabs, with Arizona State possibly leading the running.

Greenville, N.C. and Charleston, S.C. are also expressing interest, according to McMurphy's report. The move is expected to be approved by the NCAA's Football Oversight Committee on Tuesday, the insider's sources said.

The application to become the host for a new bowl game won't be available until July 1, 2018 and it takes a total of six months to complete, but Rich says he hopes to have the process done by Labor Day. The winning location won't be announced until the spring of 2019.

At a recent football conference that Rich attended as a guest, Rich learned that Greenville is the furthest location along in the bidding process. He had no comment on corporate sponsors as of now, but told NewsChannel 12 that he wants to set up scholarships for ECU, raise money for the medical center and also for Habitat for Humanity.

Rich confirmed to NewsChannel 12 that the American Athletic Conference is interested, but can't commit yet. He says he has also been speaking with the Mid-American Conference and the Sun Belt conference.

NewsChannel 12 has learned that Rich wants ECU to play in the new bowl game, but if that's not possible he would want teams that are less than five hours driving distance to participate. As far as events, Rich is looking into hosting headlining concerts but is also considering smaller concerts for a barbecue competition or qualifying cornhole tournament.

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