SBD/Issue 56/Collegiate Sports

ACC Championship Game Seeing Increase In Local Ticket Sales

ACC Associate Commissioner for Football Michael Kelly Tuesday said that local ticket sales for Saturday's Virginia Tech (VT)-Boston College (BC) ACC Championship football game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa "already have surpassed last season's game," which was held at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, according to  Zach Berman of the WASHINGTON POST. Kelly said that as of Tuesday morning, there had been 30,000-35,000 tickets sold "in the Tampa area, compared with a bit less than 30,000" in the greater Jacksonville area last year. Tampa Bay Sports Commission (TBSC) Exec Dir Rob Higgins said that a local ticket sales campaign has been "boosted by a local marketing push featuring" Buccaneers CB Ronde Barber, a Univ. of Virginia alum (WASHINGTON POST, 12/3). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Michael Smith wrote the ACC's challenge in preparing for its fourth conference title game is if it can "make enough fans in central and south Florida care," especially if neither Miami nor Florida State is playing in it. Kelly has worked with the TBSC and has "focused on more local promotion, especially at the grassroots level (think youth football), cheaper tickets, more consistency in the look and feel of promotional materials and a greater buy-in from each of the ACC's 12 schools." And while organizers are "noncommittal about the prospects of a sellout," they are "certain of halting the downward spiral experienced in Jacksonville," where attendance fell from 72,749 for the inaugural game in '05 to 53,212 for last year's VT-BC game (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/1 issue).

Writer Suggests Repeat Matchup, Long Trip
Could Discourage Fans From Attending Game
REPEAT PERFORMANCE? The WASHINGTON POST's Berman noted the game "could be a tough sell for a number of reasons." BC and VT are "two of the northernmost teams in the conference," and the matchup was not determined until last weekend. Also, the economy "could prevent some people from making the trip." BC AD Gene DeFilippo: "The economy right now is not real good. ... We're doing everything we can to sell tickets" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/3). VT Assistant AD for Ticketing Services Sandy Smith said that ticket sales for the game have been "slower than last year." In Roanoke, Mark Berman notes VT will "likely take an even bigger financial bath on ticket sales to the game than it did last year." VT officials said that the school "sold most of its allotment of 10,000 tickets last year but still finished $203,000 in the red." Meanwhile, many VT fans have indicated that they "would not be attending the title game in Tampa and would instead save their money for the upcoming bowl game" (ROANOKE TIMES, 12/3).

SEASON OF GIVING: The following are the gifts that players in this weekend's ACC, Big 12, Conference USA and SEC conference title games will receive respectively (THE DAILY).

Sony PSP
Sony PSP
EA Sports
"NCAA Football 09"
EA Sports "NCAA Football 09"
Callaway commemorative watch
Commemorative watch
Under Armour hoodie
Commemorative T-shirt
Big 12
Commemorative watch
Able Planet LoSt-CaUzE Gaming headphones*
4GB Silver iPod Nano with Color LCD*
  Boston Acoustics AM/FM iPod dock clock radio*
  Swiss Army Mega Compu-backpack*
  Commemorative watch

NOTE: * = Players get to choose one gift from the four items. All players receive a watch.

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