SBD/January 6, 2014/Colleges

Required Ticket Allotment For College Playoff Significantly Less Than BCS

The new College Football Playoff system will "require participating teams and leagues to buy at least 12,500 tickets to each game -- a significant reduction from the 17,500-ticket requirements that saddled several participants with millions of dollars in unsold tickets" for BCS games, according to Brent Schrotenboer of USA TODAY. CFP Exec Dir Bill Hancock said that the 12,500-ticket requirement will "include the two semifinal games, plus the Cotton, Chick-fil-A and Fiesta Bowls." Those three games, plus the Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls, are part of the new playoff rotation. Hancock said that the national championship game will "have a requirement of about 20,000." Hancock: "I think it's more in line with what the schools can use." Schrotenboer noted this season, Baylor and UCF reported "having trouble finding buyers" for tickets to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said, "Some places have smaller fan bases and are more regionally oriented. They struggle with it. ... There's got to be some number that people are accountable for" (USA TODAY, 1/6).

DOLLARS TO DONUTS: CBSSPORTS.com's Dennis Dodd examined the prospect of having an eight-team playoff, and noted adding a "round of quarterfinals (four more games) would 'diminish'" financial returns. Sources predicted that games in a quarterfinal round would be "worth less" than $50M each. The current "three-game structure beginning after next season (two semis and a championship) are worth" $90-100M each. Television networks "like return for their dollar," and there is "no guarantee those games would be worth it." One media consultant said, "I just don't see it. The money is not going to be there like most people think. Some money would be there ... but you start risking regular-season value" (CBSSPORTS.com, 1/5). 
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