Nearing the end of the ACC Media Days info posts/dumps. Dave Teel is one of the best ACC beat writers out there. Just does more than simply cover VT and UVa. He covers the ACC. Teel should be on the reading list at least a couple times a week.
His notes following the Media Days are just loaded.
The drumbeat to NYC for the ACC Basketball Tournament continues:
“When you have the footprint we now have, and you have Syracuse, and then you have the relationship with the Yankees and the Pinstripe Bowl … there are natural tie-ins there,” Swofford said. “Obviously Fox wanted exposure, we wanted exposure, in the New York area. It’s worked out really well.”
Over breakfast Monday, Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage told me he expected decisions on future ACC basketball tournaments at October’s annual fall meetings or shortly thereafter. He and other U.Va. administrators have advocated a long look at New York, home to the Knicks’ Madison Square Garden Nets’ Barclays Center.
Both arenas are presently occupied for postseason, the Garden by the Big East, Barclays by the Newport News-based Atlantic 10. Terms of the Big East’s deal are uncertain, Swofford said, while the A-10 is contracted at Barclays for the next four seasons.
Both arenas figure to require a multi-year commitment from the ACC, which is set to stage its 2014 and ’15 tournaments in Greensboro. Swofford said such an agreement is possible, and while ACC coaches prefer the more hallowed Garden and nearby Times Square, he made clear Barclays in Brooklyn is very much in play.
“From everything we can gather talking to people in and around New York, Brooklyn generally speaking is very trendy, very hot and attractive right now,” Swofford said, “and only is projected to become more so, and part of that is related to Barclays Center.
“There’s a subway stop that empties right at the building itself. There are projected hotels and so forth to be built, restaurants.”
I mentioned to Swofford the positive vibe downtown venues such as Charlotte and Washington, D.C., provide, in direct contrast to Greensboro.
“That kind of situation is appealing,” he said. “You do see it in Charlotte with our football championship game or our basketball tournament. My favorite Final Four cities are the cities where you can walk. You check into the hotel and you walk to the arena, restaurants, whether it’s San Antonio, New Orleans, Indianapolis, Atlanta.”
At this point, about the only ACC people that want to keep the ACC Tournament in Greensboro are probably just the ADs and college presidents at schools in North Carolina. While the ACC Tournament has never gone more than a year away for Greensboro, that is definitely changing.
You look at the make-up of the conference now. You look at what fans want when they go to these events. They want them in a real city. Where they have hotel options, dinner options, other entertainment options after the games are done. There’s a reason the SEC has their tournament in Atlanta. Why the Big Ten goes to Chicago. The Pac-12 is in LA (and now looking at Vegas). These are huge population centers. Destinations in their own right. Tradition in Greensboro is nice, but the barn door was thrown open back in 2003 on ACC traditions when the conference raided the Big East for football.
Now, not at Media Days was Notre Dame. Since, you know, they aren’t in the football side. They just share bowl affiliations and play 5 games/year against the ACC teams. The deal with ND is annoying to some degree — especially for most members of the ACC who came from the Big East.
But it turns out that the ACC had a bit more leverage negotiating with the Irish than the Big East did.
Keep in mind, partial member Notre Dame will receive none of the ACC’s playoff money and only one-fifteenth of the league’s non-playoff revenue. And when the Irish qualify for any of the six playoff-level bowls, even that one-fifteenth share is void.
That non-playoff revenue is the pooled bowl money. Not the TV contract revenue from the football side. Not the ACC Championship game. The ACC is also changing their structure with bowl money and ticket sales.
First, the conference will designate more money to bowl-bound schools to cover travel expenses to the game.
Second, bowl ticket obligations will likely be centralized in the league office rather than handled by individual schools. That way, if any school(s) do not sell their allotment, the ACC will pay the remainder from the postseason pool.
Third, teams that win the ACC championship and/or qualify for the new college football playoff could receive significant bonuses from the revenue pool before the remainder is shared evenly among the membership.
Those first two components will be very important for Pitt. It may mean a reduced share (for most programs in the ACC) from bowl money. But it also means teams don’t risk losing money on going to bowls from the travel costs and ticket obligations being forced on just the school attending.