In the early 20th century, up-and-coming communities across the United States, like Pasadena, CA and New Orleans, LA, sought ways to stimulate their economy while drawing tourists to their cities. These communities ultimately settled upon hosting college football bowl games to achieve these goals. Generally, these bowl games were organized by community groups or nonprofit organizations located within the city’s border. In 2013, many bowl games continue to operate under the auspices of a nonprofit organization. However, in recent years, a number of bowl games have shifted to being owned and operated by for-profit corporations.
Leading the way of corporate ownership and operation of bowl games is ESPN Regional Television, a sports marketing, syndication and production company subsidiary of ESPN. This year, seven of the 35 college football bowl games played are owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television: the BBVA Compass Bowl, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, Bell Helicopters Bowl, MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas and Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl. Each of the seven bowls is broadcast on either ESPN or ESPN2.