New Montgomery bowl game could be played at Alabama State's stadium

Alabama State University

New college football bowl games are coming. SB Nation talked to those trying to land one of them for Montgomery, Alabama.

The organizers of a potential bowl game in Montgomery, Ala., hope to call the event the Legends Bowl and are looking to hold the event on Alabama State University's campus at the school's new football stadium. It's believed it would be the first FBS bowl game ever played on the campus of a historically black university.

Officials at the Legends Bowl say they are in talks with the American Athletic Conference, Mountain West, MAC, and Sun Belt. They say they are also discussing Army as a possibility in 2016 and '18.

"We are thrilled at the possibility of holding the Legends Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., at the new Alabama State University football stadium," said Brian Woods, a New York-based sports consultant serving at executive director of the bowl. "The Legends Bowl would be the first FBS bowl game held at a historically black college. The game will garner a tremendous amount of national exposure for Alabama State University. Above all else, the Legends Bowl and the city of Montgomery will provide an educational experience for our participants."

Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, is competing with several other cities aiming to host new bowl games involving the Group of Five conferences -- the four leagues named above, plus Conference USA. Other reported locations vying for new bowl games are Miami, Orlando, Boca Raton, Los Angeles, and Little Rock. The group in Little Rock is working on a game that would be called the Rice Bowl. There are international locations hoping to add games as well, including Dublin, Dubai, Toronto, and the Bahamas.

With so many cities competing for a limited number of games, there's no guarantee Montgomery will be named as a host city. It's unclear how many cities will be selected for new bowl games, but Woods expects a final decision to come within the next 30 to 40 days.

"Having started a game in 2000, it's a little bit more than ‘I want to play a game,'" said Wright Waters, executive director of the Football Bowl Association and former Sun Belt commissioner. "It's gotten a little bit tighter over the years ... we'll see where it goes."

Waters was one of the driving forces behind the New Orleans Bowl, which was first played in 2001 and currently pits teams from Conference USA and the Sun Belt. A Montgomery native, Waters believes a new bowl game would provide a boost to his hometown.

"Well, I never met a bowl I didn't like," he said. "You know, it's a long process from concept to playing that first game and I wish them well. Having grown up in Montgomery, it's a great town, and if there's something that brings positive publicity to the city of Montgomery, I think it's a wonderful thing."

Woods told al.com's John Solomon Saturday that he feels Little Rock is Montgomery's biggest competition for a game, and that the decision could come down to a television deal.

"We feel we might be in direct competition right now with Little Rock," Woods said. "We feel we're ahead of the Orlando group to some capacity and ahead of the Los Angeles group. We'd love to have NBC at least give us a preliminary agreement and get us leverage. That's a big sticking point with Little Rock's efforts."

Alabama State's new stadium opened on Nov. 22, 2012, when Tuskegee defeated the Hornets, 27-25, in the 89th edition of the Turkey Day Classic. ASU is set to play its entire six-game home schedule at the stadium in 2013.

Multiple efforts to reach Alabama State athletic director Melvin Hines for comment were unsuccessful.

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