Arizona Bowl canceled; Central Michigan to play Wazzu in Sun Bowl

Field Level Media

December 28, 2021 at 1:51 am.

The Arizona Bowl was canceled Monday after Boise State backed out of the Tucson-based bowl game due to COVID-19 issues and a replacement opponent was not found.

The Broncos were set to face Central Michigan in Friday’s game. Central Michigan found a dance partner in the form of Washington State; the programs will play in the Sun Bowl on Friday in El Paso, Texas. The Chippewas, who arrived in Tucson on Sunday, will drive about 300 miles from there to El Paso.

Washington State needed a bowl opponent after Miami (Fla.) withdrew from the game, also due to COVID-19 spread within the program.

Barstool Sports, in its first year as the Arizona Bowl’s presenting sponsor and streaming partner, announced the cancellation late Monday on social media.

“Due to a COVID spike within a participating athletic program, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl,” the company said in a statement. “We would like to thank our conference partners and sponsors for their support. We look forward to providing a world class bowl experience in 2022.”

Four bowl games already have been canceled due to COVID-19: the Fenway Bowl, Military Bowl, Hawaii Bowl and Arizona Bowl. The Gator Bowl was in limbo after Texas A&M backed out, but Rutgers was added as a replacement to face Wake Forest.

Boise State began COVID-19 testing procedures Sunday, according to the Arizona Daily Star, with some positive cases. Testing continued into Monday before the team announced it would not make its scheduled Tuesday trip to the desert.