29th Annual Cactus Bowl Features Match-up Between Big 12 Kansas State and Pac-12 UCLA

Dec 03, 2017

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – The 29th Annual Cactus Bowl will host Kansas State and UCLA on Tuesday, December 26, 2017, at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix.

Kickoff between the Wildcats and the Bruins is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. MST at Chase Field, where the baseball diamond is turned into a football field. Tickets, starting at $35, are available by visiting CactusBowl.com.

“Kansas State and UCLA bring some of the most energetic and dedicated fans in all of college football, representing two great conferences in the Big 12 and Pac-12,” said Mike Nealy, Executive Director of the Fiesta Bowl. “We’ve been fortunate to have Coach Snyder as a great advocate and friend of our bowl for a long time and UCLA has one of the highest-profile programs nationwide. The Cactus Bowl has hosted some of the most elite players and coaches in college football and we are excited to continue the tradition later this month.”

This is only the third time the teams will meet, with the Bruins, who hold the series lead 2-1 over the Wildcats, defeating the Kansas State most recently, 40-35, in the 2015 Valero Alamo Bowl.

As the representative from the Big 12 Conference, Kansas State (7-5, 5-4) enters the Cactus Bowl for the fourth time in program history with an overall record of 2-1. The program’s most recent trip to the Cactus Bowl came in December 2013 when it beat Michigan, 31-14. Additionally, the Wildcats have made three trips to the Fiesta Bowl where they are 1-2.

At the helm for 26 years, Kansas State Head Coach Bill Snyder has made 18 bowl game appearances and his 202 wins are the most of any active college football coach. Last year, the Wildcats earned a trip to the Texas Bowl where they defeated Texas A&M, 33-28.

Coming out of the Pac-12 Conference, UCLA (6-6, 4-5) used an undefeated record at home to become bowl eligible and earn a trip to the Cactus Bowl for the first time in program history. The Bruins have come to the Fiesta Bowl twice, once in 1978 where they tied Arkansas, 10-10, and again in 1985, beating Miami, 39-37.

UCLA recently announced Chip Kelly as the team’s new head coach. His last game as a college head coach was the 2013 Fiesta Bowl against Kansas State. Quarterback Josh Rosen has been one of the most productive quarterbacks nationwide, passing for 3,717 yards and 26 touchdowns this season.

“It is a great honor to host these two teams once again in the Valley for a unique matchup played on a baseball diamond turned gridiron,” said Steve Leach, Chairman of the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors. “We know from experience that, along with great football, these programs will bring energetic fans to enjoy the day filled with the Cactus Bowl LIVE! concert and the Oasis Pregame Party before the big football game.”

Sold in conjunction with the game, country music duo LOCASH will perform a limited-seating pregame concert at the Phoenix Convention Center as part of the first-ever Cactus Bowl LIVE!, presented by Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, event. Fans can purchase tickets that provide entry to both the Cactus Bowl and the concert for as low as $40.

Beginning at 3:30 p.m., all fans are invited to attend the Oasis Pregame Party adjacent to the Chase Field entry plaza. Free of charge, the Oasis Pregame Party is the perfect way to begin gameday, complete with live music, marching bands, cheerleaders, pep rallies, interactive games and jumbotrons.

All tickets purchased for the Cactus Bowl support Fiesta Bowl Charities, which has given $10 million to the Arizona community in the last seven years in charitable giving, including $2.5 million for the 2017-18 season, the most of any college football bowl organization.

For more information about the Fiesta Bowl organization, the Cactus Bowl or the PlayStation® Fiesta Bowl and related events, please visit FiestaBowl.org.

About the Fiesta Bowl

The Fiesta Bowl is a world-class community organization that executes innovative experiences, drives economic growth and champions charitable causes, inspiring pride in all Arizonans. As a nonprofit organization, it believes in the importance of community outreach and service. Through charitable giving, the organization strives to enhance Arizona nonprofit organizations that contribute to the success of communities through youth, sports and education. Since 1971, the Fiesta Bowl has worked to increase its footprint across the state and work to benefit Arizonans year round, during and outside of bowl season.