SBD/Issue 148/Collegiate Sports

NCAA Approves Relocation Of Hawaii Bowls To S.F. And Seattle

The NCAA approved the move of the Jeep Aloha Bowl and the Jeep Oahu Bowl to S.F. and Seattle, respectively, according to Barry Witt of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. The S.F. game will be played December 30 at Pac Bell Park, and the Jeep Seattle Bowl will be January 2 at Safeco Field. Witt reported that the deal is not done yet because the TV nets that "enjoyed captive audiences for the former Christmas Day bowls in Hawaii now are being asked to broadcast games during what may be the two worst time slots in the bowl season schedule." Jeep also "has yet to agree to the move." ESPN, which carried the Oahu Bowl, said bowl officials "are required to get our consent, and they did not" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 4/28). In Honolulu, Paul Arnett wrote that Jeep reportedly paid a "seven-figure fee for the two games because of the television exposure. It's hard to beat a captive audience of 25 million viewers." Arnett added that if ESPN "balks at broadcasting" the Oahu Bowl, or if Jeep "backs out as well, Seattle could face a stiff challenge of making the event a successful one." Aloha Sports Inc. Exec Dir Fritz Rohlfing, on the nets wanting the games to remain on Christmas Day: "If ABC stands by that, then we'll just have to find another television partner. We're prepared to move ahead if both ABC and ESPN withdraw. As of now, our longtime title sponsor Jeep has given no indication that they want the games to be played only on Christmas" (HONOLULU STAR-BULLETIN, 4/27). In Seattle, Jim Moore reports the Jeep Seattle Bowl will feature the fourth-place team from the ACC against the fifth-place team from the Pac-10, with the teams to receive $675,000-3M. Bowl organizers estimate the economic impact of the game on Seattle at $72M. Organizers are "shooting for a minimum crowd of 20,000" (SEATTLE P-I, 4/28).

CAVALLI'S NEW CHALLENGE: In S.F, Jake Curtis reported ABL Founder Gary Cavalli "is a leading candidate" to be exec dir of the S.F. Bowl. Also, Giants Enterprises President Pat Gallagher said that Pac Bell Park would continue to host the East-West Shrine Game in January, although it is "uncertain whether Pac Bell will be the home venue for the" XFL Demons next year (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/28).

BOWL NOTES: In Nashville, Jeff Legwold noted the Music City Bowl did not have a title sponsor last year. Music City Bowl Exec Dir Scott Ramsey: "We're aggressively pursuing a sponsor right now" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 4/28)....The Bowl was the only postseason game not granted final certification by the NCAA. The bowl did receive conditional certification, and is required to submit more information by June 15 (USA TODAY, 4/30).

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