Pac-12 title crowd shows problem with neutral-site games in Playoff era

There could be more of this to come.

Arizona is playing Oregon in Santa Clara for the Pac-12 Championship, and the winner could end up in the College Football Playoff. However, many fans were not interested in attending.

The crowd at 6pm PT pic.twitter.com/G9Pu7qX1mP

— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) December 6, 2014

This was to be expected, for many reasons:

  • It’s at a stadium that’s 500 miles from Eugene and 830 miles from Tucson. For comparison, both Big Ten schools are within 330 miles of Indianapolis, and Alabama has a lot of alums in Atlanta. This is the conference title game’s first year at a neutral site. Last year at Arizona State, attendance was 69,535.
  • It’s probably too much to ask fans to come to this game, with bowl trips (and possibly multiple trips, if they make the College Football Playoff) coming up.
  • It is on a Friday. When people work.
  • It is at 6 o’clock local time, which is peak traffic time in an area that’s notoriously terrible for traffic.
  • It is raining.
  • Oregon-Cal at this stadium, on a weekday, also had terrible attendance.

Right now, the College Football Playoff games will be at neutral sites, but that might not fly if the Playoff expands to more than two rounds, and this is a prime example.

Look at the Pac-12 crowd tonight and realize that this is practically a national quarterfinal game.

— Brad Edwards (@JBradEdwards) December 6, 2014

This is why an 8-team playoff must have quarters on home fields of the higher seeds.

— Brad Edwards (@JBradEdwards) December 6, 2014

December 6, 2014 by : Posted in Uncategorized No Comments

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