The 43rd annual holiday bowl will not be held this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the San Diego Bowl Game Association. The decision was unanimously reached by the Board of Directors.

“This has been the most difficult decision our Board has ever had to make since our bowl game started in 1978,” said Mark Neville, Holiday Bowl CEO. “While it’s not the decision we wanted to make, it’s the right decision for our non-profit association and the community for the long term. The virus has created a situation in that we wouldn’t be able to welcome fans, ultimately resulting in no tourism. Couple that with the financial and potential health risks of trying to play the game during this pandemic and it was clear this was the right decision for us.”

The mission of the San Diego Bowl Game Association is to generate tourism and economic benefit for the San Diego region. Over the last decade, the Holiday Bowl has averaged $31 million in economic impact and more than 28,000 hotel room nights annual for San Diego.

The Holiday Bowl usually plays in December. The game was set to be televised by FOX Sports for the fourth straight year.

The bowl’s traditional Bowl Week events have also been cancelled for 2020, including the nationally televised Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade.

The San Diego Bowl Game Association is a non-profit 501(c)(3) with a mission to generate tourism, visibility and economic impact for the San Diego region. Since 1978, the association has generated nearly $1 billion in economic impact.

Travel & Hospitality reporter Mariel Concepcion can be reached at or 858-634-4625.