Detroit Lions, Big Ten finalize six-year deal for new bowl game

Gregory Shamus

The Detroit Lions and the Big Ten made it official Wednesday: the conference will play in a to-be-named bowl for the next six years at Ford Field.

The Detroit Lions and Big Ten Conference announced Wednesday they have agreed on a six-year deal to play a bowl game at Ford Field in Detroit starting in 2014.

This bowl will replace the Big Ten’s previous agreement with the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. The Little Caesars is rumored to be moved to neighboring Comerica Park.

"We are thrilled to be hosting a new bowl game in Detroit that will be anchored by an annual commit from the Big Ten," said Lions president Tom Lewand. "In addition to showcasing our city and its rich football tradition, this game will be an opportunity for fans to enjoy a postseason matchup featuring one of college football’s best conferences."

A conference to be named at a later date will face a Big Ten team from 2014 to 2019. The inaugural game is scheduled for Dec. 30, 2014.

"We are pleased to join with the Detroit Lions in creating this new postseason bowl game in Detroit," Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney said. "The city of Detroit has played host to as many big-time sporting events as any other major city in America, from NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four and Regional games to the Super Bowl, Word Series and NBA Finals. The support of the business and community leaders of Detroit coupled with a world-class facility in Ford Field and Detroit Lions’ management of the game will result in a meaningful experience for Big Ten teams and their fans."

The Detroit Lions are only the second NFL team (Houston Texans) to host a bowl game.

UPDATE: WXYZ has additional comments from Lewand on the new game.

Brandon Folsom can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter for additional information about college football, basketball, and recruiting.

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