Masked Rider not attending Bowl Game - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Masked Rider not attending Bowl Game

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

It's a tradition that started at the Gator Bowl in 1954, and we've seen it at every home game since.

The Masked Rider rushes onto the field as the crowd roars to welcome their favorite team. It's the nation's first live mascot to ever ride onto a football field.

Spectators later described the event saying that no team in any bowl game ever made a more sensational entrance.

But spectators at the 2013 Holiday Bowl game in sunny San Diego won't be saying the same thing.

The Red Raiders will take on the Arizona State Sun Devils at Qualcomm Stadium on December 30th. But the Masked Rider will not be attending.

The Director of Communications for the Holiday Bowl Mark Neville said Qualcomm Stadium is equipped with real grass and the stadium will see four games in eight days. So, Neville said, the stadium's ground crew is worried the ride could damage their field.

Neville also said the horse, Fearless, would need insurance to participate in the parade. He says that's a long process and there's simply not enough time.

This isn't the first time this has happened, though it is rare.

Texas Tech University Associations Athletics Director of Communications Blayne Beal said the Masked Rider has forgone attending two bowl games that he is aware of - the Holiday Bowl in 2004 and the Insight Bowl in 2006.

Since the mascot's creation, the university has played in 29 bowl games.

The Masked Rider, Corey Waggoner, said he would love to be there, but he understands the realities of having a live mascot.

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