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February 29, 2024

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Clash outta cash

BGSU football will be a part of history tomorrow as it takes the field against The University of Wisconsin for the “Clash in Cleveland.” The game will be the first NCAA Division I-A football game played in Cleveland Browns Stadium.

At this point the University has sold about 25,000 tickets. The amount of money that the University paid to put on the event remains to be seen. The athletic department would not disclose the information to the BG News.

The amount of tickets that needed to be sold for the University to break even on the event is also an unknown. The athletic department does expect to have sold between 30 and 35,000 tickets by kickoff tomorrow.

“It really depends on the types of tickets sold, not the number,” said assistant athletic director J.D. Campbell.

“We think we are in line to do so,” Campbell said.

If the University sells higher-end tickets in better seating areas it would only make sense that they will make more money from that.

UW has a rather large fan base that has been known to follow their team to games within a reasonable proximity. They are a Big Ten school, and they play in stadiums that hold around 100,000 fans every weekend.

Surprisingly the Badger faithful have only purchased around 3,000 tickets to the game through their athletic department. That doesn’t mean those will be the only fans sporting red and white tomorrow but the number does seem low.

“We know they travel well and have a large following,” Campbell said. “But we’re really not counting on them for this event.”

Last year’s game brought all kinds of attention to both teams’ rising stars. The 56-42 shootout was a showcase for BGSU’s Omar Jacobs and UW’s Brian Calhoun. Jacobs threw for five touchdowns and Calhoun ran for five.

The attendance from last year’s game was 82,138. BGSU is at a disadvantage in a game where they have to draw so many fans. UW is more of a household name than BGSU. They attract a whole state whereas BGSU’s fan base consists more of hometown fans and alumnus.

That is the reason why most MAC teams would have a hard time taking on such a task. The University of Toledo will do the same in a few years when they face The Ohio State University at Browns Stadium. That instance is different though because OSU fans might literally outnumber UT fans 99 to 1.

The game is not strictly being paid for by the school though. There are sponsors behind it. American Family Insurance, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and the MAC are all sponsors.

Campbell is confident that the game has positive impact on not only BGSU but also the entire conference.

“I think the important thing is that it shows we can compete on the same level on the playing field. In basketball, the NCAA tournament provides that opportunity,” he said. “In football, this is the only way for programs like BGSU to show that they can play at the highest level that college football has to offer.”

It will also be interesting to see how the city of Cleveland reacts. There are not any Division I football teams that play all that close to Cleveland. The town is known for their passion about sports and this is their chance to embrace Division I-A college football.

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