Bowling Green hoping Ohio State fans will buy Falcons' extra bowl tickets

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- Bowling Green is hoping that Ohio
State fans will help it avoid getting the bill for a bunch of
unsold tickets for the Falcons' bowl game in January.

The school is reaching out to fans traveling to New Orleans for
the national championship game and asking them to think about going
to see Bowling Green play the night before in nearby Mobile, Ala.

Bowling Green also is asking its supporters who can't make it to
the GMAC Bowl to buy tickets anyway and donate them to
underprivileged children in Mobile.

Many bowl games require schools to sell a set number of tickets
and cover the costs of those tickets that aren't sold.

Bowling Green agreed to sell about 7,500 tickets for the GMAC
Bowl at $45 apiece.

Three years ago, the Falcons played in the game and sold just
1,500 tickets and had to pay about $280,000 for unsold tickets.

"It's a great reward for the team, but on bowls like this we
don't make money off it,'' said Bowling Green spokesman Dave Meyer.

The school also benefits from the television exposure the game
brings, he said.

The timing of the GMAC Bowl on Jan. 6 won't help ticket sales.
It comes on a Sunday night after the holidays.

"We have classes the day after and a lot of people have to work
Monday,'' Meyer said.

That's why the school is targeting Ohio State fans going to the
championship game the following night in New Orleans, about 120
miles from Mobile.

Bowling Green is hoping that Ohio State fans opting to stay in
southern Alabama before the game may want something to do the night
before and watch the Falcons play Tulsa.

"It's quite a haul down there for our fans,'' Meyer said.
"Even if only five Ohio State fans are interested, it will help.''

Bowling Green also is making an appeal to its fans, asking them
to buy a ticket that will be donated to needy children through the
United Way.

It will help the kids and the school, Meyer said.

They're making an offer to Bowling Green students too -- buy a
ticket to the game and they will be excused from missing the first
day of classes the next day.