Quick Lane Bowl canceled; no bowl game in Detroit area for first time since 1996

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — For the first time in nearly a quarter-century, there won't be a bowl game in Michigan.

Quick Lane bowl officials, including the Detroit Lions, announced Friday the cancellation of the 2020 game, which was set for late December at Ford Field. It was the seventh bowl game canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck led the Golden Gophers to a victory in the Quick Lane Bowl in 2018.

"The Detroit Lions and Quick Lane Tire and Auto Center share in the great disappointment of not having a bowl game this season," the partners said in a statement. "We've collectively taken great pride in not only establishing a new collegiate bowl tradition in Detroit, but also creating memorable experiences for student athletes.

"We look forward to doing both again in 2021 and seasons to come."

There has been a college bowl game in Detroit every year since 2002, when the Motor City Bowl, later known as the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, moved to Ford Field. Before that, every year starting in 1997, the game was played at the Pontiac Silverdome.

That bowl game ended its run in 2013, and was replaced the following year by the Quick Lane Bowl, sponsored by the Lions.

The Detroit bowl often has featured Mid-American Conference teams, including Central Michigan five times, and Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan once each. It also occasionally has hosted Big Ten teams, most recently 2018, when Minnesota beat Georgia Tech. In 2019, Pittsburgh beat Eastern Michigan.

Other bowl games canceled include the RedBox Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Bahamas Bowl, Hawaii Bowl, Fenway Bowl and Celebration Bowl. More bowls are expected to eventually pull the plug as many states continue to enforce limits on crowd gatherings.

In Michigan, the limit on indoor gatherings is 500.

The Rose Parade, which precedes the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, also has been canceled.

College football is playing out a shortened regular season this year, most with only conference games. Because of that, there's no win requirement to make a bowl.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984