Bluebonnet Bowl wilts as old year fades
On this day in 1987, the last Bluebonnet Bowl game was played. This annual post-season football game was initiated in Houston in 1959 by a civic group appointed by the Houston Chamber of Commerce Athletics Committee. In short order, the group secured National Collegiate Athletic Association sanction, obtained Southwest Conference approval, and arranged for the use of Rice Stadium. The first game, on December 19, 1959, matched Clemson University against Texas Christian University. In the first eight years of the Bluebonnet Bowl's existence the television contract grew from $16,000 to the 1967 contract of $180,000. Proceeds were distributed to Harris County charitable organizations. Beginning in 1968 the game was played in the Astrodome, and the event was referred to as the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl. Games were played at Rice Stadium in 1985 and 1986. Unable to continue after a drop in ticket sales and failure to attract a corporate sponsor, the Bluebonnet Bowl ceased after returning to the Astrodome for its 1987 game.