Louisiana Tech to Host Army in Inaugural Heart of Dallas Kickoff Classic

[Information provided by Louisiana Tech Athletics]

Louisiana Tech and Conference USA officials announced Thursday that the Bulldogs 2013 home game against Army will be played at Cotton Bowl Stadium and will headline the inaugural Heart of Dallas Kickoff Classic.

C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowksy joined LA Tech Athletics Director Bruce Van De Velde and Bulldog coach Sonny Dykes in making the announcement during a press conference held on the steps of the historic and recently renovated Cotton Bowl Stadium.

Tech will remain as the designated home team for the game while Conference USA officials are currently negotiating national television coverage for the game.

"We are honored to partner with the United States Military Academy, the Cotton Bowl, the State Fair of Texas, Conference USA and the Heart of Dallas Bowl to participate in this special event," said Van De Velde. "This kind of opportunity is what you witness going on around the country with major college football programs playing at neutral sites in unique locations and venues in matchups made for national television. The exposure we will receive will market our University and build our brand with recruits. Financially it will help our entire program."

Van De Velde said through a number of revenue streams associated with the game that the athletic department will gross more than three times the average of a normal home game played at Joe Aillet Stadium.

The game – still scheduled for Sept. 28, 2013 – will be billed as Veteran's Appreciation Day and also surrounds the opening weekend of the State Fair of Texas. The Fair is a 24-day showcase of entertainment, exhibits and competition presented in Dallas each fall in historic Fair Park, a 277-acre complex recognized for its beautiful landscaping and unique collection of art deco architecture. Individuals purchasing a ticket to the LA Tech-Army game will receive free admission to the fair on the day of the game.

"This is a good opportunity for our team to play a nationally recognized program in an historic stadium," Dykes said. "Not only will it provide great exposure for our program, but it will also be a good experience for our fans and a wonderful opportunity to showcase our team in an area we recruit heavily."

The Cotton Bowl is located at the Texas State Fairgrounds in Dallas and recently went through a $57 million makeover that included a new turf playing surface, a high-definition video scoreboard and an all-new sound system to enhance the game-day atmosphere for fans.

"We are thrilled to showcase this game at the historic Cotton Bowl to open the State Fair of Texas," said Banowsky.  "This is a terrific opportunity and we are pleased to have Louisiana Tech and its fans coming to Dallas to face Army on Veterans Appreciation Day."

The Heart of Dallas is a new non-profit group based in Dallas that became the title sponsor of the former TicketCity Bowl as announced by Banowsky Thursday.

The Heart of Dallas Bowl will be presented by PlainsCapital Bank, with additional support from MetroPCS, Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, Omni Hotels and Hyatt. The bowl game will pit a Big 12 Conference team against a Big Ten team in 2013 while a Big Ten team will face a Conference USA team in 2014.

Tech will still host five games at Joe Aillet Stadium in 2013.

For more information on The Heart of Dallas, please visit www.TheHeartofDallas.org.