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Birmingham Bowl first sellout in Protective Stadium history

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The Birmingham Times

The TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl set for Tuesday morning is officially sold out, the first event at the new Protective Stadium to do so.

The announcement came from officials with the bowl late Monday night ahead of Tuesday morning’s game between the Auburn Tigers and Houston Cougars.

Kickoff is set for 11 a.m.

“Auburn football has a long history of playing in Birmingham, and now we have a chance to continue that against a nationally ranked Houston team that has won 11 games this year,” said Auburn Head Football Coach Bryan Harsin.

“Our mindset is to end the season with a win as we build momentum for 2022, while allowing our guys to enjoy a great bowl experience. This game is an opportunity for a number of our players to play close to home and many of our fans to easily attend after Christmas. We want the Auburn Family to turn the new Protective Stadium in Birmingham orange and blue, creating a home field advantage on game day.”

The Auburn Tigers are 6-6 and led by Harsin, who is in his first year at Auburn. This will be Auburn’s second appearance in the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl, last playing against Memphis in 2016, when they won 31-10.

The University of Houston (11-2), representing the American Athletic Conference, and Auburn University (6-6), representing the Southeastern Conference, will meet in the 15th TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to compete in the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl against a good Auburn football team. Our players and coaches have worked hard to put our team in this position. I know the chance to go out and try to win a 12th game this season will be a strong motivator for our group, and we look forward to the challenge,” said Houston Head Football Coach Dana Holgorsen.

The Houston Cougars are 11-2 and currently ranked #20 nationally. This will be Houston’s second appearance in the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl, last playing against Vanderbilt in 2014, where they lost 41-24. Houston is led by Coach Holgorsen, who is in his third year with the Cougars.

Auburn and Houston have played six times, with Auburn leading the series 5-1. The teams last played each other in 1973, when Auburn won 6-0 in a game played at Auburn

Timeline for Tuesday, Dec. 28:

–Shuttles from Doubletree hotel on 280 and from the Galleria will start at 7 am

–Stadium box office opens at 8 am

–Fan Fest starts at 8 am

–BJCC parking lots to open at 8 a.m.

–Boutwell deck will open at 7 a.m. (But organizers do not think fans will start parking there until about 8 a.m.)

–Live music in front of stadium from 8 am to 10:50 am with Fan Fest

–Cougar Walk at 8:30 am from Eastern ballroom and walk down Richard Arrington Boulevard

–Tiger Walk at 8:55 am from 24th Street North down Arrington Boulevard

–Stadium gates open at 9 am

–Kickoff is at 11:03 am

–Game is expected to end around 2:30 pm

–Fireworks at the end of the game

–For more info, visit www.protectivestadium.