SBD/December 27, 2013/Colleges

Sugar Bowl CEO Says Louisiana, New Orleans Need To Step Up To Get CFP Championship

Tuesday's Chick-fil-A Bowl will be the game's last as a mid-tier ACC/SEC bowl
Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan "proclaimed it a wakeup call" for New Orleans and Louisiana when Glendale and Univ. of Phoenix Stadium were awarded the '16 College Football Playoff championship game over Mercedes-Benz Superdome, according to Trey Iles of the NEW ORLEANS TIMES-PICAYUNE. Hoolahan and Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation (GNOSF) President & CEO Jay Cicero said that with Glendale and Tampa getting ’16 and ’17 CFP title games, "the dynamic on how to lure the game would have to change." Hoolahan said that the idea that the Sugar Bowl, which teamed with the GNOSF to bid on the '16 game, "could handle it with no financial help from the state or other partners isn’t going to fly anymore." However, Iles noted New Orleans' bid "is not a direct apples-to-apples comparison" to Glendale, which "needed to bid more because of travel considerations in and around the Phoenix metro area." Meanwhile, Hoolahan said of the CFP bid process, "San Francisco has the new stadium. Minnesota says they’re doing something. It’s going to be a heck of a war from here on out." New Orleans' "next chance" is for the '19 championship, but even though that game "isn’t for another five years, there isn’t much time to formulate a new plan to secure the contest." Funding a bid is sort of a "chicken-egg dilemma." The state "will need to fund it for the first time," but after that, tax revenue from the major events "should be enough to sustain it" (NOLA.com, 12/26).

WAVE OF THE FUTURE: USA TODAY's Dan Wolken wrote college football has entered a "new bowl environment in which traditions are slowly changing and conferences are using their significant leverage to help set matchups and, in some cases, own and operate bowl games themselves." The new model is a "direct response" to a 2% decline in bowl attendance each of the past two seasons and "concerns from administrators about schools getting sent to the same bowl games over and over again or getting placed in re-matches that don’t inspire fans to buy tickets." The days of bowl operators "controlling the postseason are over." Football Bowl Association Exec Dir Wright Waters said, "I think probably in (bowl directors’) perfect world they’d like to go back where it was 30 years ago, but if this gets us better competition, better games and games that put better crowds into the building then I think they’re happy with that." The consequences of the Chick-fil-A Bowl's leap to the so-called "New Year's Six" are "a microcosm of the new bowl environment." Born in '68 as the Peach Bowl, the game was once "so low in the pecking order it couldn’t attract ranked teams" for most of the '80s, but has now "hit the big-time." Following Tuesday's Texas A&M-Duke matchup, the Chick-fil-A Bowl will "leave behind its highly successful niche as a mid-tier ACC/SEC bowl" and become part of the CFP (USA TODAY, 12/27).
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