SBJ/July 30 - August 5, 2001/This Weeks Issue

Raycom bids for a Charlotte bowl

Raycom Sports submitted a preliminary proposal to the NCAA earlier this month for a bowl game in Charlotte.

Charlotte-based Raycom previously has helped organize and run the Sunshine Football Classic, formerly the Bowl, in Miami. Discussions are under way for moving that game to Orlando, where it would be operated by the group that runs the Florida Citrus Bowl.

The desired Charlotte game could take place as early as 2002, but that would require one of the current 26 bowl games to drop out of the postseason roster. The NCAA has a moratorium in place until the end of the 2002-03 season that prevents approval of more than 26 bowls in a season.

Regardless, Raycom officials say Charlotte would be an ideal city for a bowl because it is within driving distance for many schools in top Division I conferences.

"We have found that when you're looking at bowls that aren't in the BCS, they work better when the schools are within driving distance from the game," said Ken Haines, executive vice president and COO at Raycom.

Haines said Raycom would like to see the Charlotte bowl include an ACC team and a team from either the SEC, Big East or Conference USA.

NCAA officials said they would make a final review of the proposal in April.

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