The Independence Bowl brings lots of excitement to the Shreveport-Bossier area each December, and this year is no different.
The bowl selections were made official on Sunday as Georgia Tech and Air Force will go head-to-head in this year's Independence Bowl. Georgia Tech is "in the top ten in number of bowl appearances and bowl victories," Independence Bowl Chairman Jim Hagan told us about their choice. Georgia Tech has one of the longest active streaks of bowl appearances making thirteen bowl games in a row.
Bowl officials felt that Air Force was a natural fit for the bowl game because of the proximity of Barksdale Air Force Base. "We think that combined with the Air Force folks that will be coming into town for the game, the enlisted and active guys at Barksdale and the retirement community, it'll be a very attractive game for the Air Force," Hagan said.
With great teams comes their great fan bases, which every year bring millions of dollars into the community. "Based on previous Advocare Independence Bowls, the direct economic impact is a little bit around $3 million dollars," said Kelly Wells, Vice President of Tourism Marketing at the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. They don't believe that amount will be any different this year. "Our hotels, restaurants and attractions really know how to prepare to give them a wonderful welcome to our area."
And some of those preparations are already underway at hotels like the Courtyard by Marriot in Bossier. General Manager of the Courtyard by Marriot, Scott Douglas, told us that their preparation includes getting their rates and rooms available through as many channels as possible for the guests including on the Independence Bowl website, www.independencebowl.org.
Fans are wasting no time making their travel plans to come to Shreveport and Bossier City for the game. "We've obviously been dealing with the Air Force crowd for a little over a week now because they were announced almost a week ago," Douglas explained. "We've already started to see phone calls, and Internet bookings are a very popular way for people to book, as well."
The game between Air Force and Georgia Tech kicks off at Independence Stadium on Monday, December 27 at 4 p.m.