Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another option for the ACC Championship Game?

[Eds note: This might be a little too Atlanta-ish for BC fans but bear with me, as it might impact the ACC.]

Just when it seems like the nomadic ACC Championship Game has found a relevant home in Charlotte, Atlanta suddenly becomes an option! If Arthur Blank builds a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons it will have a major ripple effect on both the SEC and ACC games.

For those of you not following the Falcons's stadium story, here is the quick summary. The Georgia Dome is aging and not owned by Arthur Blank. The Falcons owner wants to build a stadium in downtown Atlanta that he would own and control the ancillary revenues. Because he plans to pay for the construction, Blank wants to save a few dollars and build an open air stadium instead of a dome.

If the Falcons leave the Georgia Dome, the aging stadium's relevancy takes a big hit. Without the Falcons, it is less likely to get any needed upgrades and there is a question as to if it could even stay open.

The SEC has stated that it wants to keep its championship game indoors. If the Georgia Dome goes away, would the SEC move its championship to New Orleans? If the SEC did move their game, the ACC could easily play a few ACCCGs in Blank's new stadium. The new locale offers easy travel for most of the conference and plenty of hotel rooms. Plus -- like Jerry Jones before him -- I predict that Blank will pay top dollar to have marquee events on his field.

If the state of Georgia keeps the Dome just to keep the SEC game in town, the ACC might still be able to play their Championship in Atlanta. If the SEC is playing down the street, why can't the ACC play their game on the Friday before in Blank's new building? Or even late Saturday after the SEC game is over. If you have two stadiums there is no reason to think both games could be played on the same weekend. Plus, in this scenario, the ACC gets to be the party crashers and ensure that there is plenty of buzz and excitement during championship weekend.

The ACC has been trying to emulate the SEC's Championship for six years. But one crucial ingredient was always missing -- Atlanta. If the stadium musicals chairs causes the SEC to rethink THE ATL, I think Swofford and company would be smart to swoop in on the opening. It could offer stability and revenue and piss off a bunch of SEC fans.


Kevin Escalera said...

or we could have the Championship Game in one of teams ACTUAL stadium...that would be the best option

Scott said...

No doubt that Atlanta is the most central city, and an easy flight from all over the country. Was obviously a our first choice from the outset, but I think things have changed.

1) Charlotte looks like a good thing. NC is ACC country, and local area helped deliver a full stadium. We need a dependable relationship, we should think long and hard before we turn that away, b/c we might not get a second chance.

2) If the SEC ever reconsiders, I expect the Atlanta will kick the ACC to the curb in the blink of an eye? Obviously the SEC is the kind-pin conference, but I'd rather not be diminished in the public eye.

3) The Peach bowl is our top non-BCS bowl, and supposedly the destination for our Runner-up. But won't happen if they just played there 4 weeks earlier.

With all that said, we do have one other top-end destination if we somehow blow NC and Atlanta ... make the ACCCG a home game for our the top ranked team. It may cost us some direct dollars, but the game will have a fever pitch buzz that will make the conference (and our champ) look good.

apbc12 said...

Not that this is relevant to BC, but I'll be surprised if the new Falcons stadium happens. My guess is Blank is using it as a threat in negotiations with GWCC to get a bigger piece of the revenue pie and a SOTA renovation to the Dome, and it'll work--GWCC knows Blank can afford the $700M to build a new stadium if he really wants to, and without the Falcons the Dome will close in a decade (at best).

Andrew said...

scott- why would the runner up not be able to play in the peach/chick-fil-a bowl? The SEC/South Carolina did it last year

Erik said...

The bowl doesn't like it in situations where they think they'll sell less tickets. Same reason the Gator Bowl wouldn't take BC back to Jacksonville after we lost the ACC Championship held there in December.

Not the BC would travel anyways, but the general football fans aren't going to travel to the same city twice in a month.

Andrew said...

erik- comparing Atlanta to Jacksonville is like comparing Paris to Newark.

Have you ever been to Jacksonville? It has to be one of the 5 worst cities in America. It has trouble attracting fans because its a dump, there's nothing to do and because its a lot harder/more expensive to get to. Not to mention the fact that Atlanta has a much larger population base to casual fans from. It is also a major city with one of the best airports in the country. It makes sense geographically and there is plenty of stuff to do. All things considered it is probably the best available location.

bischoje said...

Blank isn't going to pay the full tab for a new stadium. He will pay 50% at most. GWCCA is already talking about raising $350 - $400 million to help pay for a new stadium. This money would come from bonds, which would be paid off using the hotel tax - just like the Georgia Dome.

I guess it's better than Green Bay, where initial estimates have taxpayers shouldering almost 75% of the cost of a new stadium.

David said...

I was at a conference with the CFO of the Falcons today and he said there is not chance of a new stadium before 2017. We still have quite a wait.

Scott said...

Bischoje said "I guess it's better than Green Bay, where initial estimates have taxpayers shouldering almost 75% of the cost of a new stadium."

That makes sense since the town of Green Bay actually owns the Packers. So they receive all the revenues and rights to the stadium.

So Who is paying the other 25%, the state, the NFL, or ticket holders?

JoeyMethod said...

It appears that the basketball game tonight is streaming live on the ACC website!


Erik said...

Tonight's NESN lineup:

8-8:30 Charlie Moore Outdoors
8:30-9 Charlie Moore Outdoors
9-9:30 Celebrity Spotlight
9:30-10 Red Sox Report

Nick said...

Very easy to say now, but I'm on record amongst various, impossible-to-verify pals as saying that this game scared the shit out of me. Miami has lost a ridiculous amount of close games in the ACC.

Andrew said...

good call Nick. I certainly didn't see that one coming...

Ry said...

that was brutal. awful game to watch live. we looked so unprepared and flat at the beginning of the game and even seemed to quit at points in the first half. we looked much better in the second, but we had already dug too deep a hole to get out of. it's really hard to claw back when you pass the ball around without shooting as much as we do. we used a ton of clock on our possessions throughout the game. it's as bad as the flex to watch sometimes

John said...

I figured that this would be a tough year and it's turning out that way coming down the stretch.

We had hopes for a bid to the Big Dance only a few days ago, it seems. But realistically, we didn't have much of a shot this year with all of the changes, and only 7 scholarship players, etc.

Go BC - don't quit during the last few games this year. Give em hell.

Ry said...

I'm not ok with saying "oh well, not our year" when Miami is a team we absolutely could have beaten (twice). The fact that we didn't win tonight boils down to a lack of preparation, a bad gameplan and adjustments that came far too late.

Beat Miami, go beat UVa, hold serve against Wake at home, and win a game in the ACC tourney and we are likely in the dance even with an assumed loss at VTech. We just made the road that much harder on ourselves. There is no doubt in my mind that we have the talent to have won the games we needed. This is a tremendous let-down.