(Written by Ken Crawford)
The news came out yesterday that Cal has agreed to play it’s 2014 home game against Oregon on a Friday night at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara.
The university gives two reasons for the decision:
- They expect a million-dollar bump in revenue from doing this
- Since Cal has to occasionally play a weeknight game and the UW game in 2012 was problematic, they wanted to play their next one away from campus to ease logistics.
I must admit, after my initial gut reaction of anger subsided, that those reasons seemed pretty reasonable. One can argue how ridiculous it is that Cal has to occasionally play a Thursday or Friday night game at home, but that ship has sailed (at least for the foreseeable future). Cal is stuck with the Pac-12 TV contract for better or worse. And if we can get a two-fer of getting some more money and dealing with the unfortunate contractual situation in a way that doesn’t create additional logistical hassles, that’s a win-win, right?
Until I dug deeper:
Key point #1: this game will not be included in the season ticket package. At some level that’s good. Fans should have the right to opt out of such a game and excluding it from the season ticket package accomplishes that. HOWEVER, who amongst us is stupid enough to think the season ticket prices will be lower next year? I highly, highly, highly doubt it. If I’m wrong, good on Cal. That’s a pretty good compromise. But seeing as how the millions have to come from somewhere, I’m guessing they’re expecting that to come from additional ticket revenue, which means the ticket sales have to be incremental to the normally expected season ticket revenue, not a replacement for lost season ticket revenue.
Key point #2: Levi stadium has just as many logistical problems on Friday night. I’m being told this 2nd hand, but I have no reason to doubt these sources. Apparently Levi has no dedicated parking and they’re overall plan is to rely on all the adjacent businesses for Sunday parking for 49′er games. With this game on a Friday evening, how are they going to make that work? When you add to it that there’s no good public transit options into what I’ve long called the “southbay triangle of hell” (where I-880, US 101 and 237 come together), and this has the makings of a logistical nightmare.
Which all adds up to a poor decision by the University and more cranky Bears fans.
Yo Sandy: Bears fans are already pretty cranky (am I right, joshiemac?), there’s no need to give them more reasons to be upset.