NEW ORLEANS (NewOrleansBowl.com) - The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl announced today the signing of six-year contract extensions with both Conference USA and the Sun Belt Conference. This will guarantee both Division I football conferences invitations to the New Orleans Bowl through the 2019 football season. Executive Director of the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Billy Ferrante, worked diligently with both conference staffs to secure the new deals. "We are thrilled to have the Sun Belt Conference and Conference USA extend their contracts with our game. This showcases the growth that the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl has had over the past 12 years, and we look forward to the next six years of working with these two conferences to create a one of a kind experience for the student-athletes, coaches and University administrations."
A Sun Belt Conference representative has earned an invitation to the bowl since 2001, and Louisiana's Ragin Cajuns have been the bowl Champion for the past two years. Bowl officials will be granted the first selection of a bowl eligible Sun Belt team each season. "The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl has been home to a Sun Bowl representative since day one of the bowl game, and we are proud to be able to extend this relationship with the bowl game, the City of New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation," said Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson. "The Sun Belt has grown tremendously and has improved each year since the first New Orleans Bowl, and our relationship with this game is as valuable as ever."
Conference USA first signed on as a Bowl partner in 2002, and has since been represented by competitive and regionally attractive teams, including Rice, East Carolina and multiple appearances from Southern Miss. "The New Orleans Bowl has been an outstanding longtime partner of Conference USA," Commissioner Britton Banowsky said. "We are very pleased to participate in a great bowl game in a terrific destination like New Orleans."
Since the tradition began, the Sun Belt leads the nine game series 5-4. Most recently, the 2012 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl featured a 43-34 win by Louisiana's Ragin Cajuns over the East Carolina Pirates.
Televised live on ESPN, the 2013 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl will be played on Saturday, December 21st in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Kickoff is set for 8:00pm (CT). For more information, visit www.neworleansbowl.org.