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Wednesday, March 6, 2013
ADs to address financial loss at title game

By Heather Dinich

ACC commissioner John Swofford and the conference athletic directors will discuss ways to avoid financial losses for teams that are playing in the ACC championship game, according to a league spokesperson. It will be a topic of discussion for the ACC during both April and May meetings, after it was first reported by Warchant.com that Florida State lost about $479,000 in ticket sales from the title game.

Warchant.com reported in February that the Seminoles only sold 2,033 of their 10,000 allotted tickets and generated only $185,000 in sales.

Swofford said through a league spokesperson that he doesn’t believe a team playing in the title game should lose money, and that there have been preliminary discussions on ways to avoid that in the future. The conference office does not determine the ticket reimbursement policies, though, it’s up to the league athletic directors to make any changes.

In addition to the ACC’s May spring meetings in Amelia Island, Fla., the league athletic directors will also talk about the issue in April at the scholar-athlete postgraduate banquet.

The ACC championship game, though, is not broken. The ticket sales are only one part of the big picture, and overall, the ACC title game alone is still a revenue-generator for every team in the ACC. The television money and other revenue that comes from the sheer existence of the ACC championship game more than compensates for the money FSU lost in ticket sales, according to a league spokesman.

Florida State is not on the hook for any of its travel expenses. The reported loss was only because of ticket sales, and it should come as no surprise to anyone who paid attention to the conference last year that interest in that game was down. North Carolina and Miami, the two Coastal Division leaders, were both ineligible, leaving a 6-6 Georgia Tech team at the top of the standings. Considering the abnormally dismal year for the Coastal Division, it should be safe to call last year’s game an anomaly. The first two games in Charlotte were sellouts, and it has proved to be a far better venue than either Jacksonville or Tampa.