The Fiesta Bowl likely is moving – to another date.
The game could be moved up three days to Monday, Jan. 2, 2012 at 8:30 ET, sources told CBSSports.com.
Because of the uncertainty of the NFL lockout earlier this summer, the BCS only scheduled the Rose Bowl on Monday, Jan. 2, 2010 (5 p.m. ET) and didn’t schedule a game that night in case the NFL regular season schedule was pushed back a week and was required to play that night.
However, with the lockout settled and the NFL regular season schedule remaining the same – it ends on Jan. 1, 2012 – the Sugar, Orange and Fiesta bowls were given the opportunity by the BCS to move one of their games up to Monday night, Jan. 2.
The Sugar, which also hosts the BCS title game on Jan. 9, 2012, had the first opportunity but decided to remain on its original date of Jan. 3, 2012. The Orange also turned down an opportunity to move off Jan. 4, 2012.
The Fiesta Bowl, originally scheduled for Jan. 5, 2012, wants to make the move to Jan. 2, 2012, because it would draw higher television ratings by having a Rose Bowl lead-in game compared with playing on a Thursday night. Also since Jan. 2, 2012 is recognized as a holiday, it would be more easier for visiting fans to attend.
A Fiesta Bowl spokesman declined comment on the expected move.
The Arizona Republic reported the holdup whether the Fiesta Bowl will be moved depends on if the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, who host the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 1, will waive part of its stadium rights for crews to transform the stadium immediately after the game for the Fiesta Bowl. A Cardinals spokesman said told the Republic the Cardinals want to explore ways to make it happen. The NFL game is now scheduled for 4:15 p.m. ET at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
Ironically, all three BCS bowl games that had the option to move also are hosting NFL games on Jan. 1. The N.Y. Jets play at Miami at Sun Life Stadium, Carolina visits New Orleans in the Louisiana Superdome and the Seahawks play the Cardinals in Glendale.
Here is the BCS bowl schedule if the Fiesta Bowl moves as expected:
Monday, Jan. 2, 2012–Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., 5 p.m. ET
Monday, Jan. 2, 2012–Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., 8:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012–Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, 8:30 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012–Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, 8 p.m. ET
Monday, Jan. 9, 2012–BCS title game in New Orleans, 8:30 p.m. ET