The Paul Ecke Ranch announced that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is bringing a second college football bowl game to San Diego. Dubbed the Poinsettia Bowl, the game will be played annually on December 22, one week before the popular Holiday Bowl, also played in San Diego.
The only new bowl added for the 2005 season, the Poinsettia Bowl is expected is to attract more than 40,000 fans.
The Bowl takes its name from the poinsettia plant, synonymous with the city of Encinitas, Calif. - home to the Ecke Ranch, one of the largest poinsettia breeders. The poinsettia has become a mainstay in holiday decorating around the world. Over 70 percent of the poinsettias sold in North America and more than 50 percent of the poinsettias sold worldwide originate at the Paul Ecke Ranch, according to the Ranch.
"We think the Poinsettia Bowl will become as big of a hit with fans as the Holiday Bowl," said Bruce Binkowski, Holiday Bowl executive director. "We chose the poinsettia name because it is a famous symbol of the holidays, and it's widely identified with San Diego County thanks to the Ecke Ranch," he added.
"We're proud that the NCAA chose a name which reflects the important role our plants have played in creating an identity for San Diego County during the holiday season," said Paul Ecke III, CEO of Ecke Ranch. "Everyone at the Ranch is excited about this opportunity to showcase our poinsettias to a national audience through such a high-profile event." The Ranch is actively seeking opportunities to partner with bowl game organizers.
According to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune Ecke said this was a wish of his late father, Paul Ecke, Jr. "When the first holiday bowl in San Diego was organized in 1978, Paul Ecke, Jr. had wanted to name it Poinsettia Bowl. Organizers chose "holiday" instead, because it evokes the holiday spirit, said Binkowski.
"Holiday Bowl officials also said Wednesday that they expect the Poinsettia Bowl to produce approximately $20 million annually during what traditionally is the slowest week of the year for the local tourism industry," stated an article from the Associated Press .
The Ecke family has operated the Encinitas floriculture ranch since 1923. A mainstay in North Coastal San Diego, Ecke Ranch produces more than 70 percent of the poinsettias grown in North America. The Ecke Ranch is one of the largest private employers in the City of Encinitas. For more information, please visit the Ecke Ranch Web site www.ecke.com .