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Neutral-Site League Games in B1G's Future?

  • Look, this is all about the home team's prerogative. I don't think anyone expects Rutgers or Maryland to host Indiana or Purdue in the Giants' or Redskins' stadiums. Small stadiums mean small gates and I can't blame any school that has a 55,000 seat stadium looking to host a major power draw like Ohio State or Michigan and thinking they can make a heckuva lot more money playing the game in a much bigger stadium off-campus. If they don't, they need their membership in the AAU revoked because they're obviously not that smart.

    When we play at TCU in 2018, I hope they have the sense to move it to 85,000-seat Cowboys Stadium rather than play it in their rinky dink campus stadium that holds 45,000. That move would mean a lot more money not just for them but for us as the visitors.

  • If you can't play with the big boys then you shouldn't share the sandbox. Their monetary issues are of no concern to me.

    PS: We'll never see eye to eye on this subject LOL!!! It's fine too, gives something to post about during these doldrums of winter.

  • The B10 will not move games from OSU or Michigans statiums for nuetral sites. If it ever does this at all it will be to move games from smaller to larger stadiums not vice-versa. As for the rest I fully expect to see the B10 go to at least 9 league games per season as the result of expansion. Six against teams in your division and three with teams in the other division.

    This post was edited by Trotwoodbuck 18 months ago


  • sounds great if you're a team that has a small stadium, but when you have a large, classic stadium you'll make less money at the neutral site than you would at home. It's great for the Rutgers, UMD's, NW's of the world, not so much for tOSU, UM or PSU.

    If they only do it for when marquee teams visit smaller stadiums then it may work. I'd never want to trade a Buckeye home game for a neutral site...Also, would open up more away tickets for us traveling Buckeyes.

  • I saw OSU vs Bama at Giants Stadium back in '86, besides losing the game it sucked. I've never attended another neutral field game since then and never will unless it's a championship/bowl game.

  • If I'm Rutgers AD and I've got an eye on that ripe fat apple just waiting to be picked called the NYC market with all its sports fans in general and all its B1G alums in particular and I have an opportunity to generate incrementally millions of dollars in revenue for my school and program, I'm all over playing behemoths like Ohio State and Michigan and Nebraska and Penn State in 83,000-seat MetLife Stadium. I wouldn't think twice about it and I certainly won't apologize for it. Don't callously snicker, "'Welcome to the B1G time!' and then force me to roll over and do things your way." And if our opponent loses and/or its fans have a terrible time, that's their problem because I'm much more concerned with my fans and my team. And in two years when those opponents come back, hopefully there will be even fewer for tickets seats for their fans because there's more demand for tickets from mine.

    And if I can someday get to a point where I'm able to afford adding another 20,000 seats to my stadium to increase its capacity to 75,000, then that's something I'll gladly take into consideration if/when I get to that point.

    Same thing with Maryland.

  • They can't even sell out their pathetic stadium.

    BTW...There were empty seats in the Bama/OSU Kickoff Classic and Bama is a legitimate team.

    This post was edited by IndyDog 18 months ago

  • That was 1986...time to move on, Indy. I was in grad school at Alabama back then.

    I just read something in ESPN's Mail Bag that was interesting: if the B1G goes to a 9-game schedule as a lot of people suspect it may have to once it expands to 14 teams, that means alternating seasons of 5 and 4 home games. The years with only four home games puts those teams at a financial disadvantage where they'll get a smaller share of the gate even though they may dominate the opponent's stadium, e.g., Buckeye games in Columbus West. But all that money still goes to the home team, so even though Buckeye fans fill the stadium, OSU is only paid its standard visitor's share of the gate while most of the money our fans pay goes to the home team. That means IU and Northwestern end up making more money hosting us in their small stadiums, while we get peanuts. So why not play a "neutral site" game against Northwestern in Soldier Field or against Indiana in Indianapolis where we split the gate 50/50?

    This post was edited by iowabuckeyes 18 months ago

  • The year is irrelevant, the neutral field concept is awful...monetary considerations are not of interest to me.

    Have you been to a neutral field game? If so what was your take?

  • Not unless you call Minnesota playing OSU in the Metrodome. It wasn't bad even though I'm not a big fan of domes in the first place and it was a beautiful October afternoon, perfect for playing football outside. But let's be honest, once they got rid of the Kickoff and Pigskin Classic pre-season bowl games, outside of post-season bowl games, Ohio State hasn't been presented with any neutral site opportunities.

    I get to see the Buckeyes play about one game every year. In fact, I see them play on the road far more often than in the Shoe (only 2x in the past 10 years). And that's my point--if OSU was playing Texas at Arrowhead in Kansas City or Alabama in St. Louis, I'd do everything I could to be there because the opportunity to see the Bucks play in person doesn't present itself very often.

    And I'll bet the Michigan-Alabama game in Dallas was something none of those fans will ever forget, even Michigan's.

  • Razorback

  • After watching Kansas State in 2012 -

    Big 12 road games - @ Oklahoma, @ Iowa State, @ West Virginia, @ TCU, and @ Baylor

    VS.

    Big 12 home games - v. Texas Tech, v. Oklahoma State, v. Texas, and v. Kansas (who went 0-9 in the Big 12. So, this was basically a gimme W)

    Essentially K-State played 3 home games and 5 road games.

    I would prefer that if the Big 10 were going to play an odd number of conference games that one be on a neutral field. In 2009-10 K-State played 2 games v. Iowa State in Kansas City.

    Of course you want to play your biggest rivals home or away. However, mid level rivals would be interesting to play on a neutral field from time to time.

    Big 10 does have NFL cities / professional sports cities in: Minneapolis, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and I would even add St. Louis as well.

  • Agreed.

    A big game like that loses it's appeal at a neutral site venue like that.

    Why play a game against an elite program like that with zero history of playing there? It's silly to begin with and the "geniuses" that come up with those ideas should step into my office......

  • Because playing Northwestern at Soldier Field is stupid!! Northwestern doesn't play football at Soldier Field. The Chicago Bears do!

    It's called a conference for a reason. You play a team away one year and home the next. End of story.

    Gene Smith is a total fu_k head and like dick weed Jim Delany doesn't care about traditions what so ever......Smith is damn lucky he's hung on to his job....

    I mean this guy didn't give a damn about fu_kstick Dicklaney splitting UM and tOSU into 2 separate divisions.....and further more was advocating at the time that 'The Game' may need to be moved to October!!

    Gene Smith is an idiot and him spouting off from his stupid lips that the B1G needs more neutral site games is proof!!

    Ohio State has played in Ryan Field which has a capacity of 47,000+ so we can play Rutgers at their stadium which seats 52,000+

    If Indiana can come to C-bus and get peanuts compared to what we get...I think it's only fair to play them on their home turf as well. If you don't like the idea of your money going to Indiana then don't go.

    By the way.....I don't ever see a team like Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska or scUM ever agreeing to only play 4 home games. That's not going to happen. The lowest they'd ever agree to is 6 and even that's a stretch......and I bet they'll prefer to keep it at 7-8. Two of those games will be OOC home games so that leaves 5-6 conference home games.

    With money getting even tighter....I doubt any of these programs are going to want to give that up. Just don't see it happening.

  • Then you have no business telling those of us who see regular home games that the Buckeyes need to play in neutral site games.

    Sorry you live so far away.....but most of us don't want that garbage! I want the Alabama's, the USC's, Texas's, Florida's, Tennesse's, Texas Tech's, Washington State's, Oklahoma's, Virginia Tech's of the world to come to our house and try and beat us.....then if I have the opportunity to make a trip to one of those opponents venues....I'll do it. Otherwise I'll look forward to a potential prime time match-up Darrell K-Royal stadium or the Coliseum.

    Boo on this neutral site bull malarky!

  • You guys need to take a step back. The Pigskin Classic was played back when the NCAA allowed "pre-season bowl games" by matching up highly ranked teams in a neutral venue. By playing in those games, teams were allowed a 12th game in an 11-game season. If anyone remembers, OSU under Earle Bruce put together a string of six straight 9-3 seasons (from 1980-85). That streak was broken by 1986's 10-3. We came into that game, which was the inaugural Kickoff Classic ranked #9 and was Bama #5. They won 16-10. That game was Derrick Thomas's coming out party as a sophomore starting his first game for Alabama.

    In 1994, #20 OSU beat Fresno State 34-10 in the Disneyland Pigskin Classic. In 1995, #12 OSU also beat #22 Boston College 38-6 in the Pigskin Classic. That was Eddie George's coming out party. In 1999, #9 OSU lost to #12 Miami 23-12 in the Kickoff Classic. OSU's record in these games was 2-2.

    Since 1979--which I'm using simply because that was Bruce's first season--outside of these four pre-season bowl games and post-season bowl games, the only games OSU's played in a "neutral site" were 1991 against Northwestern in Cleveland, 2002 against UC at Paul Brown Stadium--which I wouldn't call a neutral site as much as a smart move by UC to make more money--and 2009 against Toledo in Cleveland. We won all three games.

    So it's not as if Buckeye fans have been hugely inconvenienced by neutral site games.

  • Now you REALLY need to back up.

    Show me where I said OSU needs to play neutral site games. I said it's the prerogative of the home team. If Rutgers wants to play us at a neutral site rather than their own stadium, that should be their choice. They're the home team.

    I also said that rather than be satisfied with just four home games when IU and NW are getting five in their rinky dink stadiums, why not play in a bigger stadium to help spread the wealth? It was for discussion, not a definite statement. But no, you'd rather pay 28% MORE for tickets to see fewer games. And then you'll have the temerity to bitch about it. Yeah, have fun with that while I'm having a cold one and laughing at your crybaby ass.

    Look at the SEC, the conference that's setting the pace in college football. This year, Alabama, Kentucky, LSU, and Mississippi State are all opening their seasons playing neutral site games. It'll be Alabama's second straight year and they're doing it again next year. That's the team that's won two straight and three of the last four national championships. Hey, here's a thought: maybe they know something we don't. Maybe we should take a page from their book instead of scratching our heads and wondering how they're doing it.

  • It's not about being inconvenienced Iowa....

    We just don't like them.

    The Pigskin Classic game haven't been played in 10 years...if they brought that back I wouldn't necessarily mind it as long we have another marquee match-up in a home and away series.

  • Right...

    Because playing a neutral site game is the reason for their success.....that makes sense.

    Look....do you really think Alabama having to travel to Texas to play was as difficult as it was for scUM to travel there?

    Kansas City would have been much more 'neutral' so to speak! But no....it had everything to do with playing in that stupid new stadium of the Cowboys where a medium size pizza will cost you $35 !!!

    Anyway....don't worry Iowa....my 'crybaby ass' is backing up! LOL....

  • By the way Iowa,

    What exactly is so neutral for Alabama to be playing Va. Tech in Atlanta, Georgia? It's a hop, skip and a jump for Bama' not to mention they play on that field for the SEC championship game.....

    So what exactly is neutral about that?

  • It waters down the essence of college football, the fans, the home fields, the traditions, the enemy. If I'm a Michigan or AL fan I'd rather stay on the plane a little longer to do battle at the lair of the enemy.

    I understand seeing your team close by, I did it and didn't like it one bit. I missed the collective on the win/loss, there were too many corporate types which would be substantially increased in these times, too many spectators there just for the heck of it with no stake, no buzz, it blew. It was like going to a bad NFL game.

  • you say you "don't ever see a team like Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska or scUM ever agreeing to only play 4 home games" and yet guess what? that's how many home games every big 10 team played this year. so why would anyone complain? the problem is the loss of an ooc game if they go from 8 big 10 games to 9. how will they solve it? they'll just raise ticket prices. in fact, they're already doing it. osu's athletic council is going to ask the board of trustees next week to raise ticket prices from $70 to $79 (13%). smith was quoted in the dispatch saying it's to offset revenue losses from playing only 7 home games instead of 8. the difference between 7 games and 8 games is 13%. but it gets worse. the price on "premium" game tickets to $90 and that's a 22% increase. so what happens if years when there are only 6 home total games? the seasons when when osu has four big 10 home games and only two ooc homes because we're playing at virginia tech or north carolina or oregon or texas? expect another price increase. and they'll get it because fewer home games will create higher demand. simple econ 101 supply and demand.

    i think people need to get beyond their moral outrage and see the big picture. all this expansion nonsense is not only watering down the product but it's creating a lust for more money that's not solving problems but creating problems that, ironically, are we're being told the only ways to solve them is to make even more money. but what about the additional tens of millions from the tv contracts? wouldn't that more than help offset the revenue lost from one fewer home game?

  • Well said. My take exactly, college ball is selling the very thing that makes it a unique product. This post could be added to the "has college football peaked" thread as another reason it's losing it's appeal...to me at least.

    I termed the B1G expansion that Delany has created as the Big Depot and it's becoming true for the sport in general. Soon it'll be another amorphous blob like everything else, watered down with no uniqueness or personality. They take one little thing here, one little thing there, and it starts to add up, just like our taxes and before you know it we're knee deep in it.

    I hear over and over how it'll make more money, it's good for the conference, we'll widen our appeal, well...we're losing it in every step. Again, it's becoming a lousy version of the NFL...what's the point?

    This country is losing it's flavor to corporatizing, big faceless entities doing what's best to self perpetuate their existence. The very things proponents on this board espouse are the very things that will be the downfall of this sport to a whole generation.

  • We had 8 home games last season and we have 7 home games this season because we're on the road at Cal. Not a single B1G Ten team played less than 6 home games last season.

    So with that in mind and the stupid expansion still underway apparently.....I very much highly doubt in the end they're going to want to reduce those numbers even more by agreeing to play a neutral site conference game unless it is an away game for us. No way is tOSU going to give up playing in the shoe. Nor Penn State, scUM or Nebraska.

    We play Indiana on their home turf not in Indianapolis RCA dome....if they wanted to play us there that's on them....but again...this is my opinion only.....if I'm trying to create a football fan environment and rally the school and community around my program.....I as an athletic director want that game on or as close to campus as possible. I'd let the corporate morons squirm in their shoes because I'd turn them down.

    In complete agreement with you......because playing a neutral site game IMO is extremely short sided! Rutgers would be fools to play tOSU, scUM, Penn State or Nebraska at a neutral site!! If I really want to boost the program....play those teams on my home field!! Rally the community around the campus and the student body rather than have to have them travel to a place where the school quite honestly has no connection to. That's just stupid. Get those big programs in your stadium.

    IMO Alabama was stupid to agree to play at Dallas last year! Bryant-Denny Stadium holds almost 102,000......that's 22,000 more seats than Dallas Stadium! ......I'd be sick if we couldn't play Bama' on their home turf!

    We're pretty much in agreement though.

  • Agree...regular season game tho.