The walk from the parking lot into TCU's Dutch Meyer Athletic Complex reveals ongoing construction at Amon G. Carter Stadium with giant lights still in their packaging, an incomplete concourse and massive piping waiting to be installed.
For several hundred who walked through Thursday afternoon on their way to celebrate the 10th year of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, the sight is welcoming.
After two years at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, the bowl game will return to Fort Worth on Dec. 29 for its 10th edition.
"I'm excited to be fully back in Fort Worth," bowl executive director Brant Ringler said. "I'm excited to work among great people every day, who wish to make this event something our city can be proud of."
Amon G. Carter Stadium hosted the first seven games, but the next game will have a completely different look. Ringler praised the stadium's new layout.
"We're definitely not going to have frozen toilets on a cold day," said Ringler, referencing 2004's chilling game between Cincinnati and Marshall. "Everything here is just better."
Pete Riley, Bell Helicopter executive vice president of integrated operations, attended Thursday's celebration and announced his company has extended its sponsorship through the 2013 game.
"We are looking forward to returning to our home in Fort Worth and excited to host the game in newly renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium," Riley said.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price also spoke at the celebration.
"To have our bowl game back home -- it's just incredible," Price said. "But even more incredible is to have it showcased in this fabulous stadium. We are very fortunate."
The Armed Forces Bowl will have a new logo this year. An X, with red and white stripes and stars on a blue background, symbolizes a decade of games. Much of the emblem is black to honor those who have died in service. The whole logo has a purple outline, a tribute to TCU.
Brent Shirley, 817-390-7760