Were you thinking that the BCS bowl lineup this year was a bit of a snoozefest? You weren’t alone if so.
Ticket sales for some of those games — the Orange, Sugar, Rose and Fiesta bowls — have been sluggish, and ratings generally have been lukewarm for matchups that haven’t gotten the casual fan excited.
“We have to find a way to revitalize the market place,” Sugar Bowl executive director Paul Hoolahan said.
The ratings for Hoolahan’s game were down a touch, from 8.5 last year when the game was on Fox to 8.4 this season, ESPN’s first as the TV home of the BCS — though the Superdome in New Orleans was filled to capacity Tuesday for BCS-newcomer Arkansas and Ohio State, one of college football’s glamour programs and a reliable draw with its enormous alumni base.
The Fiesta Bowl and the Orange Bowl had more serious issues.
The Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1 between Oklahoma and Connecticut drew a 6.7 rating, down 22 percent from last year, and UConn sold only about 5,000 of the 17,500 tickets the school was required to buy from the organizers.
Attendance at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., was 67,232, about 6,000 below capacity for the game.
At the Orange Bowl in Miami, Stanford and Virginia Tech drew a 7.1 overnight rating, down from last year’s 7.2 for Georgia Tech-Iowa, and the attendance of 65,453 was about 9,000 below capacity at Sun Life Stadium as neither team came close to selling its allotment of 17,500 tickets.
Perhaps if there were some way to make each game more important. You know, by making them part of a quest for something bigger. I’m sure someone can think of a system that could accomplish that. See this NYT story about PlayoffPAC for more.