Yuma, Arizona - Arizona Western College, the Matador Athletic Association and the Caballeros de Yuma announced that they have begun preparations for the 2012 El Toro Bowl. The partnership has announced that the name of the event this year will be the El Toro Bowl-presented by Alexander Automotive Group.
It will be the second year since the three entities partnered together bring a college football bowl game back to Yuma in spectacular fashion in December of 2011 after a 37-year absence. The announcement was made this afternoon at a press conference at the Schoening Conference Center of the 3C Building on the Arizona Western College main campus in Yuma.
Last year’s inaugural game resulted in the national championship football game for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), and was attended by a capacity crowd of over 5300 people-the first sellout in the history of Veterans Memorial Stadium. The various broadcasts of the game (radio, television, internet audio and internet video) were also taken in by over 25,000 viewers/listeners. The game itself was the culmination of a week of El Toro Bowl events that included the first-ever AWC Hall of Fame Banquet, El Toro Bowl Pre-Bowl Banquet, El Toro Bowl Ladies’ Luncheon, El Toro Bowl VIP Reception and two community service events that included both participating football teams making presentations to schools in southern Yuma County. The overwhelming success of the 2011 version of the game and the events leading up to it have set a high bar for event organizers to follow, and they already have plenty of things to indicate that they will meet and exceed those expectations again this year. First, one of last year’s major supporters, Alexander Automotive Group, has even increased their support to become the official title sponsor of the El Toro Bowl for 2012. “As (Alexander Automotive Group President/CEO) Ryan Hancock & I have talked over the years about different opportunities to help AWC, the athletic department, and also the Yuma community, he’s always stepped up and do what’s right to be a partner for what can help the community,” said AWC Athletic Director Jerry Smith. “And when we approached him about the title sponsorship, he just said, ‘Count me in.’ I want to thank Ryan & Alexander Automotive Group for not just being the title sponsor, but for all they do for Yuma.” Second, the incredible response by other businesses in the Yuma area to financially support the events last year is already well on the way to repeating that same success-much in part to the fact that nearly all of last year’s sponsors have already gotten on board for the second year, including Holiday Inn, who has again signed on to be the official hotel of the 2012 El Toro Bowl, and Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club have renewed their partnerships as major sponsors. “I can’t say enough about the support that they we’ve received from our sponsors, and our goal this year is to bring this back-bigger & better,” remarked Caballeros de Yuma Bowl Committee Co-Chairman Dave McDowell. “I’m so glad that 2011 is a wonderful memory, but that’s done. We want you to focus on 2012. We made a lot of promises last year, and we’re going to make even more this year about the excitement that this event is going to bring.”
Bowl committee members have already received the green light from the NJCAA Region directors from around the country to hold the game again after their vote at the NJCAA National Meetings this past April. Bowl officials announced that the game itself will again culminate several days of events, including a pre-bowl banquet for the teams as well as several community-oriented events for both the teams and members of different portions of Yuma County. “Every one of the people (represented) in this room owned that event very early. You as a community immediately bought in as major sponsors, Matador Athletic Association members rushed to get their friends involved to buy tickets and get the word out,” said El Toro Foundation Board President Dennis Booth. “The excitement and buzz that was generated by all of you 30-60 days leading up to the event was amazing, and I think that same kind of excitement is on the way this year.”
The El Toro Bowl-presented by Alexander Automotive Group-will be held on Saturday, December 1st, 2012 at Veterans Memorial Stadium (AWC’s home football stadium). Proceeds from the bowl game and its related events will benefit several areas, including scholarships at Arizona Western College, as well as allow the Caballeros de Yuma to continue to provide and attract events that positively impact the quality of life in the Yuma community. Fans can stay up-to-date on all of the happenings surrounding the El Toro Bowl-including ticket information, team information, and event details on the official El Toro Bowl website: www.eltorobowl.com.