Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Is Tampa the answer for the ACCCG?

Saturday the ACC title game will mercifully move from Jacksonville to Tampa, where hopefully the crowd will be better than last year's sparsely-attended game between the Hokies and Eagles.

It's a poorly kept secret that the ACC put the title game in Jacksonville thinking either Miami or FSU would be there every year and attendance would be great. It was the first year when FSU faced a highly-ranked Virginia Tech in a competitive game. After that? Not so much.

The ACCCG now changes venues to the much sexier Raymond James Stadium. It has a lot going for it. Warmer weather, a better city, a friggin' pirate ship. What's not to love? What's also great about Tampa is that unlike Jax and Charlotte, there isn't an ACC-affiliated bowl tied to the stadium.

If you want to go to Tampa, you have to make it to the ACCCG. And I think that's why Tampa, in theory, is the perfect place for this game. But in practicality, it might not be. It's harder to get to than Charlotte and it's not in the middle of the conference like Charlotte is, either.

Unfortunately, you can't plan your neutral site game around what teams are going to be there. Look at the Big 12. Kansas City's a great place for that game when Missouri and Kansas State are playing in it. But when Colorado's there? Not so much.

(Then again, having been to two Big 12 title games in Kansas City, I can tell you it's never a good idea to play that game in Arrowhead. So. Damn. Cold.)

Then there's Charlotte. Yeah, if UNC or NC State makes the title game it will have great attendance. But if BC plays Miami for the ACC title in Charlotte, it will make last year's game in Jax look like Lambeau for a playoff game.

The ACC is stuck because it's so spread out and doesn't want a cold-weather title game like the Big 12 has when it holds its conference title game in Kansas City. In Charlotte, you have the chance for it to be cold so you don't want to go any more north of there.

To me, Tampa makes a lot of sense because of the warmth and the uniqueness of playing there. Now if we can only get some airline to make Tampa a hub, we'll be set.

Any ideas from the peanut gallery? Where do you think the ACCCG should be played? Is there any city you wish would just build a stadium large enough to host it? My vote would be Myrtle Beach, but I'm a golfer. What the hell should we do with this thing?


Winfield Featherston said...

Put it in Charlotte. BC/ Miami would be a disaster but the probability of that happening I think is slim. Besides, Charlotte is ACC country which can bring in more casual fans as well. Just like Atlanta brings in casual SEC fans because it is in the heart of SEC country.

In all honesty, the secret is good powerhouse football. That will bring in the fans and boost attendance.

BTW, when GT was in Jacksonville in 2006, the weather was warmer in Charlotte. I think the same thing happened last year as well.

Brian said...

Weather shouldn't be a factor in Charlotte. Put it in Charlotte and keep it there. The SEC Championship was first staged in Birmingham before they moved it to the Georgia Dome and it's been played there ever since.

We are not the Big XII where we can afford to move this thing around every year. The interest in college football just isn't what it is in Big XII or SEC country, and we don't have the luxury of having 3-4 big cities with NFL stadiums to choose from (Atlanta is taken by the SEC, and the next city further north is Baltimore). We need to keep it in one place and build brand recognition and make Charlotte our conference's city.

Charlotte is a major east coast airport hub and is accessible to most all fans, including Miami and Boston College (USed Airways). Driving distance from Clemson, the Carolina schools, the Virginia schools and GT.

Brian said...

Another thought ...

I think it's time to move this game to the home field of the team with the better record, a la Conference USA. There's a novel idea outside of the conventional "move it to Charlotte, move it to Baltimore" meme.

Why should the conference continue to take a bath on this championship game in a futile attempt to be just like the SEC or the Big XII?

furrer4heisman said...


do you really want to be associated with conference usa?

Brian said...

short answer: if the conference, the title game participants and the cities that host this game continue to hemmorhage money on this thing ... I don't think it's such a bad idea.

Alex F. said...

I'd like to see it rotated every year. Play it in Charlotte 2 out of every 4 years, DC 1/4, Tampa 1/4.

Charlotte - Geographic center of the conference

DC - Not the geographic center but probably home to more ACC fans than any other city save perhaps Charlotte (think Atlanta for the SEC), easy drive from 8 of the 12 schools as well as NYC and Philly

Tampa - Best option for weather, will fill up if a Florida team or Clemson is playing

So after the current deal (Tampa in '08 adn '09, Charlotte in '10 and '11) is up let's go to DC in '12, back to Charlotte in '13, Tampa in '14, Charlotte in '15, etc.