SAN DIEGO -- Holiday Bowl ticket sales topped 57,000 for Wednesday night's contest between the Cal Bears and University of Texas Longhorns at Qualcomm Stadium, the game's executive director said.

"The ticket sales are where we expected them to be,'' said Bruce Binkowski of the San Diego Bowl Association. "We're hoping to approach 60,000 when all is said and done.''

Attendance topped 60,000 for five years in a row, from 2003 to 2007 and again in 2009. Last year, for the match-up between Nebraska and Washington, the crowd count dipped to 57,921, the lowest since 57,118 showed up in 1999.

Cal and Texas were each given an allotment of 11,000 tickets for the game, which begins at 5 p.m.

Binkowski said fans of the Bay Area school, known as UC Berkeley outside of its athletic endeavors, bought most of their tickets. Texas supporters purchased about half of theirs and are donating the rest to the Marine Corps, Navy, YMCA and Star/PAL, he said.

Given the state of the economy and relatively high fuel prices, Binkowski said he understood that fewer people than before are willing to travel from another town or state to watch a football game. City officials urge locals to take trolleys and buses to the stadium.