The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl plans to talk to the Mountain West Conference about a possible tie-in to follow the University of Hawaii football team’s move to the MWC in 2012.
Bowl officials, who are attending the NCAA bowl meetings in New Orleans this week, where some background work might be done, said "preliminary discussions" have taken place and more extensive meetings are expected.
UH leaves the Western Athletic Conference after the 2011 season and David Matlin, executive director of the Hawaii Bowl, said, "We want to continue to provide a bowl opportunity for the University of Hawaii in the future."
The WAC and Hawaii Bowl have had an agreement since 2002 that has reserved a spot in the bowl for UH in seasons when the Warriors are bowl eligible. UH has represented the conference six times in the nine previous Hawaii Bowls. In 2007, when UH advanced to the Sugar Bowl, and in 2005 and ’09, when the Warriors were not bowl eligible, the WAC sent other representatives.
Even though the Hawaii Bowl’s agreement with the WAC runs through 2013, the bowl can opt out in case of major membership changes such as those that will send Boise State to the Mountain West in 2011 and UH, Fresno State and Nevada there in 2012.
MWC commissioner Craig Thompson has said, "I think that’s an opportunity, if that’s what Hawaii wants, if that’s what ESPN Regional (Television) wants and if that’s what other remaining members of the (MWC) want, that certainly is one option."
ESPN Regional Television owns and operates the Hawaii Bowl as well as three others, the Las Vegas, New Mexico and Armed Forces (Dallas) bowls, with which the MWC is affiliated.