This year’s Hawaii Bowl is the latest victim of the coronavirus pandemic.
ESPN Events today announced it will cancel two of the 17 bowls it owns — the Hawaii Bowl and the Bahamas Bowl. Although a date had not been set for this year’s Hawaii Bowl, 14 of the bowl’s 18 games have been played on Christmas Eve.
The Hawaii Bowl has been linked with the University of Hawaii since the game’s inception in 2002. The game was formed as a collaborative among UH, the Western Athletic Conference and an ESPN subsidiary after the Rainbow Warriors went 9-3 in 2001 but did not advance to a postseason bowl.
The Warriors have played in the Hawaii Bowl nine times, including last December’s victory over Brigham Young. There has been a handshake acknowledgement that the Warriors would be extended an invitation if they finish the regular season with a .500 record or better.
“We are disappointed that we aren’t able to stage events and these premier destinations this year,” Pete Derzis, ESPN senior vice president of college sports programming and ESPN Events, said in a statement. “We are committed to bringing both games back in 2021, and we thank our conference partners, sponsors and local communities for their ongoing support and understanding.”