According to a December 26, 2014 article in USA Today entitled “Bowl Game Attendance on Decline But TV Interest Grows,” author Brent Schrotenboer states, “Even though ticket demand is relatively low for lesser bowls, countless viewers keep watching, even if oahu is the Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., a game that drew just 20,256 fans the other day but attracted a typical television audience of 1,114,000, based on ESPN.”
Schrotenboer continues on to express, “Only one bowl game a year ago drew fewer than 1.2 million viewers typically, based on superbowl. That’s better compared to the 1.1 million who watched a beginning day baseball game a year ago between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Nationally broadcast regular season baseball games in 2012 and 2013 averaged about 680,000 viewers.”
Are you able to imagine then a following scenario for the college football bowl season:
ESPN builds its television studio strictly for the purpose of hosting college bowl games. The tv screen network already owns and operates 11 bowl games. In that way, it has no middleman to manage for these additional events, eliminating being forced to negotiate with a separate facility to host the game. No costs for having to operate a vehicle production trailers or fly technical crews halfway throughout the country.
Since this facility would be built as a tv studio and not as an outdoor multipurpose arena, ESPN may make attending the bowl game a real multimedia experience for the fan, with special effects like lasers. lights and smoke. The network could ensure the bowl experience for the live attendee as well as the tv viewer to be unlike any other.
But here’s the catch: the ESPN studio might have just a limited amount of seats, say 5,000 or less, which will minimize construction costs. The studio wouldn’t have to be much bigger than the typical college football program’s practice facility. Just big enough to show to the million plus viewers that there are actually some fans in the stands. Thus, there wouldn’t be considered a single bad seat in the house. You’d be sure an up-close and personal bowl experience. And because of the intimate atmosphere, the sounds from the fans would reverberate through the entire facility.
Due to the limited method of getting seats, this could force ticket demand (and prices) up. No longer 60,000- or 80,000-seat facilities which can be less than a quarter full. It would be a 180-degree differ from the existing experience, by which many schools have to count on daily deal sites to simply help unload their share of allocated tickets.
Thus, the universities would benefit since they wouldn’t be required to purchase the a large number of tickets that they cannot sell (even on Groupon).
ESPN could make use of this facility multiple times throughout the expanse of the two- to three-week bowl period.
For instance, this year five additional college football teams qualified for a pan that they certainly were not invited to. That’s two additional games that the schools and network aren’t generating countless dollars from, forcing television viewers to instead watch sitcom reruns when they would much rather be enjoying a live sporting event. And advertisers would rather be buying time on a tv program that most viewers will watch live and can’t fast-forward through their commercials.