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W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library Manuscript Collections

Guide to the First Annual Liberty Bowl ticket MSS.3694

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Publication:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266
205.348.0500
archives@ua.edu

November 2012

Creation:

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2012-11-21T12:10-0600

Language Usage:

English

Description Rules:

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Collection Title:

First Annual Liberty Bowl ticket

Unit ID:

MSS.3694

Repository:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Quantity:

0.05 Linear feet (ticket)

Dates:

1959 December 19

Abstract:

Ticket to the 1st Annual Liberty Bowl game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 19 December 1959

Biographical/Historical note

The Liberty Bowl is an annual U.S. American college football bowl game played in December of each year from 1959 to 2007 and in January in 2009 and 2010. The Liberty Bowl was sponsored by AXA Financial and was known as the AXA Liberty Bowl from 1997 to 2003. Since 2004, the game has been sponsored by Memphis-based auto parts retailer AutoZone, and is now called the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. A. F. “Bud” Dudley, a former Villanova University athletic-director, created the Liberty Bowl in Philadelphia in 1959. The game was played at Philadelphia's Municipal Stadium. It was the only cold-weather bowl game of its time, and was plagued by poor attendance. The 1963 game between Mississippi State and NC State drew less than 10,000 fans and absorbed a loss in excess of $40,000. The first Liberty Bowl game was the most successful of the five held in Philadelphia, as 38,000 fans watched Penn State beat Alabama 7–0 in 1959.

Atlantic City convinced Dudley to move his game from Philadelphia to Atlantic City's Convention Hall for 1964 and guaranteed Dudley $25,000. It would be the first Bowl Game played indoors. AstroTurf was still in its developmental stages and was unavailable for the game. Convention Hall was equipped with a 4-inch-thick (100 mm) grass surface with two inches of burlap underneath it (as padding) on top of cement. To keep the grass growing, artificial lighting was installed and kept on 24 hours a day. The entire process cost about $16,000. End-zones were only 8 yards long. 6,059 fans saw Utah rout West Virginia. Dudley was paid $25,000 from Atlantic City businessmen, $60,000 from the gate, and $95,000 from television revenues, for $10,000 net profit.[2] Dudley moved the game to Memphis in 1965, where it has made its home at what became Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium to much larger crowds and has established itself as one of the oldest non-BCS bowls. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Liberty Bowl offered an automatic invitation to the winner of the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, if that team was bowl eligible.[3] From 1996–2004, the regular season champion of Conference USA served as the host team. Since 2005, the winner of the C-USA Championship game has received the berth, with 2011 being an exception.

Processing Information:

Processed by

Martha Bace, 2012

Preferred Citation:

First Annual Liberty Bowl ticket, W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Acquisition Information:

unknown

Usage Restrictions:

None

Access Restrictions:

None

Scope and Contents note

The collection contains one ticket to the 1st Annual Liberty Bowl game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 19 December 1959. The ticket is for Gate 3, Section WO, Row 31, Seat 27, and cost $5.65 (ticket price: $5.00 + $0.40 federal tax + $0.25 city tax = $5.65).

Source(s)

Liberty Bowl. (Football game) (Library_of_Congress_Name_Authority_File)

Ticket Box SC0086 Folder 3694.01