St. Petersburg, Washington will host bowl games in 2008

There will be two new NCAA postseason football games next season -- one in St. Petersburg, Fla., the other in Washington, D.C.

The St. Petersburg Bowl will be played between Dec. 20-23 at Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays. It will match teams from the Big East and Conference USA.

"The St. Petersburg Bowl is another great bowl opportunity for the Big East," league commissioner Michael Tranghese said. "The game is played in a Big East market and already has generated great interest in the local community."

Tropicana Field has been home to big league baseball since 1998 and has hosted several major sporting events, including the NCAA Final Four in 1999.

The domed stadium also has served as a home for the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning and the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League, but is a newcomer to college football.

The NCAA also approved a "Congressional Bowl" in Washington, D.C. It will feature Navy against an ACC opponent.

A proposed game for Salt Lake City was turned down.

Last year there were 32 bowl games. There were 71 teams which had 6-6 records to qualify for a bowl game.

In two other bowl notes:

• The Cotton Bowl, which has been played on New Year's Day in recent years, is moving to Jan. 2 starting next year. It will also be played in the afternoon, rather than a 10 a.m. start. Next year's Cotton Bowl will be the last at its current location. The game will move to the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium in 2010.

• The Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., announced that its matchup in 2008 will feature teams from the Big East and Southeastern Conference.

The NCAA Postseason Football Licensing Subcommittee also renewed licenses for the Allstate Sugar, AT&T Cotton, AutoZone Liberty, BCS National Championship, Bell Helicopter Armed Forces, Brut Sun, Capital One, Champs Sports, Chick-fil-A, Emerald, Fed Ex Orange, Gaylord Hotels Music City, GMAC, Roady's Humanitarian, Insight, International, Konica Minolta Gator, Meineke Car Care, Motor City, New Mexico, Outback, Pacific Life Holiday, Papajohns.com, PetroSun Independence, Pioneer Las Vegas, R+L Carriers New Orleans, Rose, San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia, Sheraton Hawaii, Texas, Tostitos Fiesta and Valero Alamo bowls.

The subcommittee, meeting in Weston, Fla., also reported about 1.6 million fans attended last season's bowl games, and about $222 million in revenue from those games was distributed to the participating teams and conferences.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.