Teams prepare for Poinsettia Bowl

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The Naval Academy football team is scheduled to arrive in San Diego Friday to begin four days of preparations and activities leading up to Tuesday’s 10th annual Poinsettia Bowl against San Diego State at Qualcomm Stadium.

The Midshipmen will stay at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in downtown and practice at Southwestern College in Chula Vista. Their practices are open to the public.

The Aztecs will stay at the Sheraton Hotel and Marina on Harbor Island and practice on campus. Their practices are closed to the public.

The teams will visit the San Diego Zoo on Saturday, SeaWorld on Sunday and the USS Midway Museum on Monday.

The Gaslamp March will be held Sunday, with marching bands and spirit squads from the participating universities parading from each end of Fifth Avenue performing holiday classics, and meeting at Market Street for a “Battle of the Bands.”

Navy is seeking to send 8,000 enlisted personnel and academy students to the game but was 2,000 short of the goal as of Tuesday, according to Scott Strasemier, the Naval Academy’s senior associate athletic director/sports information. Navy has sold all of its 10,000-ticket allotment, according to Susan Reid, the director of communications/marketing for San Diego Bowl Games, which operates the Poinsettia Bowl

Navy is seeking to have a ticket donated for enlisted personnel and academy students from each of the 50 states. As of Tuesday, Kansas was the only state without a ticket donation, Strasemier said.

The San Diego Bowl Game Association, which conducts the game, announced on Nov. 6, 2013, that Navy would play a Mountain West Conference team in the 2014 game if the Midshipmen won at least six games to become eligible to play in a bowl under NCAA rules. Navy won its sixth game Nov. 28, defeating South Alabama, 42-40. The Midshipmen defeated rival Army, 17-10, on Saturday to improve to 7-5.

A crowd of 32,000-35,000 is expected, Reid said. San Diego State has sold approximately 7,000 of its 10,000-ticket allotment. The game drew a record crowd of 48,049 in 2010 when San Diego State faced Navy. Last year’s game between Utah State and Northern Illinois drew a record-low crowd of 23,408.

Categories: KUSI