Friday, April 25, 2008

Bowl aims to expand board, up ticket sales

When Charlotte's postseason bowl game started in 2002, it sold just 200 tickets locally before the participating teams were announced.

Last year, the Meineke Car Care Bowl had 10,000 pre-sold tickets.

"That's largely due to the efforts of our board," said bowl executive director Will Webb.

Webb hopes to expand the board of advisers for the Meineke Car Care Bowl, which matches teams from the ACC and Big East each December at Bank of America Stadium. The board has 47 members, a number Webb would like to see approximately doubled.

Members will be required to sell $4,000 worth of ticket packages and be proactive agents in the community for the bowl. (For each of the first two years, new members must sell $2,000 worth of ticket packages).

Board members receive two club-level tickets, and invitations to media events, the sponsor's reception and other functions, including a ride in a race car at Lowe's Motor Speedway on the day the participating teams attend.

Webb's goal is to recruit members of the community to continue building the bowl's local base.

"It's really a way for a lot of folks who love college sports to extend that into a positive channel," said Charlotte's Susan Dion, a board member and former N.C. State cheerleader who serves on the bowl's selection committee. "It's just a way for all of us to continue to be involved."

Those interested in serving can contact Webb in his office at Raycom Sports.

Webb also would like to move up in the ACC's selection order after the current bowl contractual agreements expire following the 2009 season. Currently, the ACC tries to find mutually beneficial selections for the Meineke, Emerald and Music City bowls -- after the BCS, Chick-fil-A, Gator and Champs Sports bowls choose.

Ideally, Webb said, the Meineke would like to choose after the Gator Bowl.

"It's just a matter of whether we have the resources to do it," he said.Moving up would require a significant increase in the bowl's payout -- which is $1 million to each conference. The Champs Sports Bowl pays the ACC $2.25 million.

Webb said a larger payment would require a ticket price increase and funds from public sources and sponsors.

– Ken Tysiac