SBD/Issue 142/Collegiate Sports

Spring College Football Games Garner National TV Exposure

Meyer Hopes Exposure From Televised
Spring Game Will Help In Recruiting
ESPN on Saturday aired the first two hours of the Univ. of Florida's (UF) spring football game, and ESPN VP/Programming & Acquisitions Dave Brown said that spring games "give his network a platform to cover big offseason stories in a sport that draws significant viewership," according to Andy Staples of SI.com. Brown said that he can "envision in future years broadcasting from multiple sites during a three- or four-week period after the Final Four." Brown: "The bottom line is we haven't had any games for three months. Spring football is the only time period where you will see the team and get a glimpse of what it might look like next year." ESPNU will broadcast the Univ. of Missouri's spring game live this Saturday, while the NFL Network will broadcast the Univ. of Pittsburgh's game live with guest color commentary from coach Dave Wannstedt. The Big Ten Network Saturday will provide "live look-ins on eight of the conference's spring games" (SI.com, 4/11). In Florida, David Jones reported UF coach Urban Meyer "took advantage" of the spring game's extra exposure to "attempt to give recruiting an extra bump." About 50 potential recruits attended the game, "along with UF's entire recruiting class signed in February" (FLORIDA TODAY, 4/13).

SPRING FEVER: Ticket Express Owner Chad Carr said that tickets for Saturday's sold-out Univ. of Nebraska spring game "with a face value of $3, are going for as high as $95." Carr added that a ticket for last month's Bruce Springsteen concert in Omaha "could be bought for $39." Carr: "I'm not one to judge the craziness of Nebraska football fans." Nebraska set its spring attendance record of 63,416 in '05, but the number "slipped the last two years." Nebraska Marketing Dir Corrie Sears said under new coach Bo Pelini, the game "pretty much sold itself" (USA TODAY, 4/15). The following chart lists attendance from select college football spring games through last Saturday (THE DAILY).

SCHOOL
ATTENDANCE
Alabama
78,200
Florida
61,000
LSU
33,624
Florida State
30,000
Ole Miss
28,311
Oklahoma
23,306
Oklahoma State
20,000
Clemson
20,000
BYU
16,700
Southern Miss
11,126
Virginia
4,000
South Florida
3,500
Stanford
1,500
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