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Volume 24 No. 179

Events and Attractions

ESPN Events has taken over bowl ownership from many non-profit organizations in recent years as the majority of revenue can be made from "eyeballs on screens and not so much butts in stadium seats," according to Brent Schrotenboer of USA TODAY. ESPN's acquisition of so many bowls has altered the "complexion and business model of an industry that previously was exclusively run by local non-profit civic organizations." Of the 40 bowls this season, a "record 17 of them owned by larger for-profit businesses," including three pro teams. ESPN Events now owns 13 after as recently as '05 owning "just three of the 28 bowl games" that season. ESPN earlier this year bought the Miami Beach Bowl from the AAC and moved it to Frisco, Texas, a move that "underscores why ESPN values these lower-tier games." While a small crowd for last year's Miami Beach Bowl was "bad news for a small non-profit that relies on ticket sales and corporate sponsorships," attendance "doesn’t matter as much to a deep-pocketed media network." ESPN "wants live television programming during the holiday season to draw viewers, sell advertising and beat the competition." Even though the Miami Beach Bowl was the "least watched bowl game of the season, it was still a ratings win for ESPN," with the net "trouncing other channels" on a Monday afternoon. Meanwhile, The CFP National Championship is owned by the CFP Administration, a "for-profit entity whose members are the 10 major college football conferences and Notre Dame." Overall, smaller crowds "don’t mean the overall bowl industry is in trouble." Schrotenboer: "Far from it. The business model is just shifting" (USA TODAY, 12/13). 

GRANDDADDY OF THEM ALL: In Oklahoma City, Ryan Aber notes demand for this year's Rose Bowl (Oklahoma-Georgia in the CFP semifinal) has "steadily grown." As of last night, tickets "started at $285 each" on Vivid Seats and tickets on StubHub "were available for just under $300." There were still tickets "available on the primary market, though not without an additional hospitality package that raised the price well above face value." Less than 200 tickets "remained through Ticketmaster, starting at $528 each" (OKLAHOMAN, 12/13).

Reps for boxers Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez are "getting closer to finalizing their rematch for May 5," according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. Cinco de Mayo, a "traditional date for a big fight involving a Mexican fighter, and Alvarez is by far Mexico's biggest active boxing star." Golden Boy Promotions President Eric Gomez, who promotes Alvarez, said that he hopes to finalize the fight soon, "perhaps by the end of this week." Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler said that there are "only three candidates in the running" to host the rematch -- T-Mobile Arena, MSG and AT&T Stadium. Loeffler: "Madison Square Garden wants to make an offer that would be the biggest gate in New York history, and everybody knows the numbers from the first fight, when we achieved the third-biggest gate in boxing history. If Texas or New York wants this fight they know what they're up against knowing what Las Vegas can generate" (ESPN.com, 12/12). In Las Vegas, Gilbert Manzano reports Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya has "made it a priority" to have the rematch at T-Mobile Arena. He said, "There’s no place like Las Vegas. These type of events have to take place in Las Vegas, and we have great partners with the MGM group and the T-Mobile Arena and AEG." Manzano notes there is also a "chance Alvarez could fight the winner of Saturday’s WBO middleweight title fight between Billy Joe Saunders and David Lemieux if negotiations fall apart with Golovkin" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 12/13).