SBD/January 10, 2014/Colleges

College Football Playoff Will Mean Twice The Cost In Tickets, Travel For Schools And Fans

Each participating team in the two College Football Playoff semifinal games are "required to buy a block of 12,500 tickets to resell to its fans" before increasing to 20,000 for the title game, causing some to wonder if that is "asking too much" of the school's fans, according to Brent Schrotenboer of USA TODAY. The cost of "travel, along with scheduling issues, long have been cited as drawbacks for staging a multiple-round playoff in major college football." Those hurdles "might even stand in the way" of expanding the four-team playoff "unless additional games are staged at campus sites to mitigate travel expenses." Though the playoff games will garner "high national interest, ticket demand still could depend in large part on the size of a team's fan base and travel distance to the games." UCF and Baylor this year "struggled to sell their allotments" to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, and Florida State last year "only sold a small percentage of its 17,500-ticket allotment" for the Discover Orange Bowl. FSU and the ACC as a result "absorbed $2.1 million in unsold tickets." Bowl ticket requirements are "negotiated by the bowls and the leagues long before matchups are set." CFP Exec Dir Bill Hancock, who has shared his weekend plans with THE DAILY, said that he "expected the championship game's ticket allotment size for participating teams to be finalized this spring" (USA TODAY, 1/10).

DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS: The inaugural CFP National Championship will be played at AT&T Stadium, and in Dallas, Chuck Carlton writes how the Metroplex region "handles the title game will play a role in how the playoff is received." Officials from the stadium, Cowboys and Cotton Bowl game "hope to lay the groundwork for another successful title game bid in the future." Cotton Bowl officials will "initially meet monthly with the playoff group, with the first strategy session in a couple of weeks." Cotton Bowl Chair Tommy Bain said that he "expects capacity to be around 90,000, although playoff officials will have the final say." Carlton noted even when it was "not among the elite bowls, the Cotton Bowl built a reputation for hosting a well-run event." AT&T Stadium has become "a magnet for big events, including the 2014 NCAA men’s Final Four." Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, whose team earlier this year played in the AT&T Cotton Bowl, said, "I just don’t know if there’s a better facility out there that puts on a show and is accommodating to the game. It’s very impressive" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/10).
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