SBD/May 2, 2012/Colleges

The Spirit Of St. Louis: City Looking Into Feasibility Of Hosting New Bowl Game

The St. Louis Sports Commission is "exploring the feasibility of creating a bowl game in St. Louis,” according to Vahe Gregorian of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Sports Commission President Frank Viverito said that the ideal game would match "opponents from the SEC and Big Ten -- leagues that St. Louis is well-accessible between.” The game "could be played either at Busch Stadium or the Edward Jones Dome." However, Viverito said that the game “wouldn’t be worthwhile unless the appropriate resources can be mustered.” Viverito: “If there’s (35) bowls, we can’t join as Bowl 36. We have to get in at a level where we don’t have to plead with the community to support the event. ... We can’t scrape this thing together and keep our fingers crossed that we can grow it. We have to get in at a solid level.” Sports Commission VP/Events Chris Roseman attended the BCS meetings in Florida last week and said, “We’re trying to figure out what the bowl landscape looks like now and what it’s going to look like. Before summer’s over, we should have a really good feel about what the landscape looks like.” Roseman added that includes whether a "moratorium on adding new bowls will be lifted.” Viverito said, “All of the pieces have to come together. Can you get a conference tie-in? Can you get a title sponsor? Can you get a TV deal? If you can get two conference tie-ins, then that makes it easier to get a TV deal and a title sponsor deal. If you know you can get a title sponsor contingent on getting a conference tie-in, then it makes it easier to get a conference tie-in” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/2).

MIDWESTERN VALUES: ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg reported if the BCS opens the bidding process "to host future college football playoff games, three venues in the Big Ten footprint would be interested.” Officials from Lucas Oil Stadium, Ford Field and the Edward Jones Dome confirmed that their groups "would explore the possibility of bidding to host a semifinal or a championship game.” The BCS has yet to decide whether “neutral-site games will be held at existing bowl sites like Pasadena, Calif., or New Orleans, or whether non-bowl sites” will be allowed to bid on the games. Outdoor venues like Soldier Field are "highly unlikely to be considered," as they “bring too many potential risks and logistical headaches that the indoor venues don’t.” Indiana Sports Corp. VP/Communications John Dedman: “A BCS championship game, a BCS semifinal, whatever those options are, that would rank right up there with the best things that we’ve done over the last couple of years.” St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission PR Dir Donna Andrews noted that the Edward Jones Dome “is connected to the America’s Center convention complex, which could host the supplementary events that would take place alongside a football playoff game.” Rittenberg noted Lucas Oil Stadium has a similar setup with the Indiana Convention Center (ESPN.com 4/27).
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