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Volume 25 No. 24
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ACC's Swofford Anticipates Extension With Charlotte To Host Football Championship Game

ACC Commissioner John Swofford left no doubt Thursday that Charlotte "will continue to host the conference’s annual football championship game" beyond '20, according to Bonnell & Marks of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. Saturday's ACC Championship pits Miami and Clemson against one another, and Swofford said that he "anticipates announcing an extension of the contract to hold the game at Bank of America Stadium" sometime in the first half of '18. The current deal runs through '20. Swofford said that so much about Charlotte -- the "stadium, the abundance of uptown hotels and restaurants, and the geographic location in the center of the ACC’s footprint -- make it ideal for this event." Swofford: "This game has really found a home in Charlotte, when you look at the fact that even with our expansions (to the Northeast and Mid-South), it’s still right in the geographic center of the footprint. All of our schools have direct flights into the city. The stadium is terrific, and the Panthers continue to update it." Swofford said that the "working relationship with stakeholders in Charlotte is excellent, even after the game was moved on short notice to Orlando a year ago" over the state's HB2 bathroom bill (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/1). Miami Senior Associate AD/Development Jesse Marks said that the school "sold out of its initial allotment of 5,000 tickets, requested another 2,500 and sold out of those, as there were more than 10,000 requests." In Miami, Michelle Kaufman notes there "could be as many" as 20,000-25,000 Miami fans at the game "based on interest" on the secondary ticket market (MIAMI HERALD, 12/1). Charlotte Sports Foundation Exec Dir Will Webb said that the game "sold out faster than any other ACC Championship his group has helped host in Charlotte" (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 11/30).

TOUGH SELL: Boise State reported Thursday that just 20,500 tickets "were out" for Saturday’s Mountain West title game against Fresno State at Albertsons Stadium. In Idaho, B.J. Rains notes BSU put tickets on sale after they "clinched a spot in the title game on Nov. 18." BSU had a crowd of 26,101 for the '14 MWC title game in Boise with just "six days to sell tickets, and the hope was the crowd would be bigger this week with an extra week to sell tickets." Selling tickets for conference championship games has "been tough" for the MWC. The league has "averaged just 25,605 fans in the four Mountain West title games" since the game was started in '13. The biggest was a "crowd of 31,362 when Fresno State topped Utah State" in '13. MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson has said that the league could "look at a neutral site in the future ... but that doesn’t figure to do much for ticket sales if they can’t sell them now with one of the teams getting a home game" (IDAHO PRESS-TRIBUNE, 12/1).

TROUBLE IN TEXAS? In Ft. Worth, Peter Dawson notes there are still "many tickets available online" for the TCU-Oklahoma Big 12 title game at AT&T Stadium. Ticketmaster shows "thousands of upper-level seats available starting at $90." Those numbers have "held constant throughout this week" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 12/1).