Glasnost Bowl

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The Glasnost Bowl was an attempt to stage an American college football game in Moscow, USSR at the beginning of the 1989 season. The game was named after the policy of glasnost ("openness") introduced by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985. Scheduled for the Dynamo Stadium, the game was similar to the Mirage Bowl, a college football game played annually in Tokyo, Japan, with plans to have it be an annual contest with different participants each year., Philadelphia Inquirer, November 16, 1988.

Organized by Raycom Sports, the game was scheduled between the University of Southern California Trojans and the University of Illinois Fighting Illini to open their regular seasons. Arrangements were made for a network telecast back to the United States, and airplanes were chartered for fans to fly to the Soviet Union. However, due to complications, the game was rescheduled for Los Angeles, California as a USC home game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.


The attempt to use Moscow as the venue for an American football game can be viewed as an element of intense dialogue among Russians and American in the late 1980s. This exchange dialogue cut across many elements of cultureCyberspace, San Francisco Chronicle, Page A-14, , November 20, 1995 and served as an important step in the political transitions leading to present day Russia.

Early planning

On October 18, 1988, Rick Ray, CEO of Raycom, announced an agreement...
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