Army, La. Tech Square Off For Inaugural Veteran-Focused Event
By Dan Harralson
Saturday's Louisiana Tech and Army game may not be on a lot people's watch list, but it should.
The Bulldogs from Ruston, La., and the Cadets from West Point, N.Y., will play in Dallas' historic Cotton Bowl with stakes higher than a college game between two non-contenders.
The two will square off in the inaugural Heart of Dallas Kickoff Classic to showcase Veteran’s Appreciation Day.
The opening weekend of the State Fair of Texas will surround the game. The Fair is a 24-day bonanza of entertainment, exhibits and competition in Dallas' historic Fair Park. Individuals purchasing a ticket to the La. Tech-Army game will receive free admission to the fair on the day of the game.
The Heart of Dallas is a non-profit group.
“We are thrilled to showcase this game at the historic Cotton Bowl to open the State Fair of Texas,” Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky said. “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.”
It's a great honor for the Veterans to be remembered and for the Army football team to be involved.
Louisiana Tech gave up one of its home football games to take part in this event. The game was announced last October.
“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,” former Louisiana Tech athletics director Bruce Van De Velde said. Van De Velde stepped down from the athletics director position July 1.
The game also will benefit La. Tech and its football program in the long run.
"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," Van De Velde said. "The exposure we will receive will market our University and build our brand with recruits. Financially it will help our entire program.”
Fox Sports 1 will broadcast Saturday's game at 3 p.m. CT.