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EagleBank Organizers "Surprised" By Number Of UCLA Devotees In DC

Pretty interesting article in the Washington Times on the Eagle Bank Bowl. The organizers are excited about what they have been able to put together around this game. What caught my attention was the line about those guys being surprised by the number of UCLA "devotees" in the area (emphasis added throughout):

Year two of the EagleBank Bowl has seen a doubling of sponsorships from year one, plus an expansion of its community events and its charitable partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project, which assists severely injured servicemen and women.

"To see the community support and everybody getting behind it has been great," Beck said.

Bowl officials said they were hopeful ticket sales would surpass last year's matchup between Navy and Wake Forest, which drew an announced crowd of just under 29,000. It will be a challenge given the absence of a local team, but Beck said he expects Temple's fans to travel well and has been surprised by the number of UCLA and Pac-10 devotees in the area.

Bowl officials went into this season hoping for a matchup between Army and a team from the ACC. But they were left scrambling to find teams from an at-large pool after the ACC failed to qualify enough teams and Army fell short of the required six wins.

But Temple, which qualified for its first bowl since 1979, said it was eager to play in the District despite winning nine games and qualifying for several other bowls with Mid-American Conference tie-ins. UCLA, meanwhile, told bowl officials that it would play in the EagleBank Bowl or stay at home altogether. The result will be a game with a solid storyline: a BCS conference team making a rare trip east to face a college football Cinderella.

From the most recent update in DC outlets, more than 17,000 tickets have already been sold for this game. It is also interesting to see the perspective of East Coast media on our program:

In glamorous UCLA (6-6), of the Pac-10, and upstart Temple (9-3), of the Mid-American Conference, the EagleBank Bowl has an intriguing contest between the haves and have-nots. While this will be the 10th bowl appearance in the last 12 years for UCLA, it is the first postseason game in 30 years for Temple.

"You think about the teams we could have got," said EagleBank Bowl Executive Director Steve Beck. "I really think we pulled something off here, having a 9-3 Temple team versus high-profile UCLA."

Exposure like this will only help our staff's recruiting efforts. Last year we snagged Damien Thigpen from Virginia. This year we have 4 star LB Aramide Olaniyan in the fold. Don't forget one of the greatest Bruins of all time - Johnathan Ogden - came to Westwood via the DC area. So,

I imagine an opportunity like this can really boost our recruiting efforts which has gone so well in last three years. Now if we can take care of business by showing up in huge numbers at RFK and get a victory next Tuesday, we will be well set up heading into signing day.