Thursday, November 5, 2009

Meineke Bowl to rise in ACC selection order

Charlotte’s Meineke Car Care Bowl will move up one spot in the ACC bowl selection order starting in 2010 under an agreement the ACC announced Thursday morning.

The bowl, held each year at Bank of America Stadium, has extended existing deals for four more years with the Big East and now the ACC, and will match teams from those conferences through 2013.

Meineke Bowl executive director Will Webb said Thursday morning that beginning in 2010, the bowl will get the fourth selection from the ACC after the Bowl Championship Series. Previously, the Meineke selected fifth after the BCS.

“It’s huge for this bowl,” Webb said. “We’ve worked very hard. We’ve gotten some great games for this community. To be able to move up a spot in the pecking order will help assure us of the long-term viability of this bowl.”

The Orange Bowl will maintain its automatic BCS tie with the ACC. After the BCS selects from the ACC, the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta gets the next pick, followed by the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

A bowl new to the ACC lineup, the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, will select the ACC championship runner-up, if available, or the third pick after the BCS. The Meineke selects next, followed by the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn.; the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.; and the EagleBank Bowl in Washington, D.C.

“These bowl partners provide the opportunity to play unique opponents in quality destinations, while also significantly increasing revenue for our institutions,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said in a statement released by the conference.

If nine ACC teams become bowl eligible, the conference has a conditional arrangement to send its eighth pick after the BCS to the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco in the event that one if that game’s primary partners doesn’t have a team eligible to fill its slot.

The Meineke Bowl will benefit from the new rule the ACC has put in place for the loser of its championship game. In the past, the championship game loser could fall no further than the fifth selection after the BCS.

Now the championship game loser must be selected no later than the third selection after the BCS – the Sun Bowl – and before the Meineke Bowl makes its pick.

With the ACC championship game coming to Charlotte in 2010 and 2011, this means the Meineke Bowl won’t face the prospect of having a championship game loser coming back to town for the second time in a month.

Typically, bowl officials fear that fans whose teams lose in a conference championship game won’t travel in large numbers to a bowl game in the same city.

Webb said Meineke Bowl officials sweetened their payout structure in order to move up in the selection order. The actual dollars paid to the ACC and Big East varies each year based on ticket sales under a revenue sharing agreement.

Last year’s sold-out game between North Carolina and West Virginia resulted in payouts of approximately $1.7 million each to the ACC and Big East, Webb said. Starting in 2010, Webb said, payouts should exceed $1.7 million each year under the new revenue structure.

In its seven years, the bowl in Charlotte has averaged over 62,000 fans with three sellouts. This year’s game will kick off at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 26.

“Despite all the bad economic news in Charlotte, there’s a lot of positive news on the sports front,” Webb said. “I think the bowl moving up is huge. I think us getting the championship game here is huge. And with the efforts we’re putting forth to meld these two together, we’re going to have a great time with college football.”

Bowl; Site; Opponent
Orange/BCS; Miami; BCS team TBA
Chick-fil-A; Atlanta; SEC
Champs Sports; Orlando; Big East or Notre Dame
Sun; El Paso, Texas; Pac-10
Meineke Car Care; Charlotte; Big East
Music City; Nashville, Tenn.; TBA
Independence; Shreveport, La.; Mountain West
EagleBank; Washington, D.C.; Varies-x
x-The EagleBank Bowl will match the ACC with a Conference USA team in 2010, Navy (if bowl eligible) in 2011, Army (if eligible) in 2012 and a Big 12 team in 2013.

Ken Tysiac


panfan1 said...

Good job ACC!!

Anonymous said...

Still don't like the Big East tie in. That's never going to generate much excitement. Still, congrats.