SC

No Government-Funded Bowls

After a nine-year delay – and at least $400,000 in tax money down the drain – state leaders are once again reviving the idea of bringing a government-subsidized college football bowl game to Charleston, S.C. According to The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier, “organizers of the proposed Legends Bowl, which…

After a nine-year delay – and at least $400,000 in tax money down the drain – state leaders are once again reviving the idea of bringing a government-subsidized college football bowl game to Charleston, S.C.

According to The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier, “organizers of the proposed Legends Bowl, which would be played at The Citadel’s Johnson Hagood Stadium beginning in December 2014, held a meeting of community leaders Friday in an effort to build momentum for the idea.”

“The bowl would pair teams from the Sun Belt and Mid-American conferences, be televised on the NBC Sports Network and bring an annual economic impact of about $6 million to the Lowcountry,” the newspaper reported.

Nine years ago S.C. Speaker Bobby Harrell – then chairman of the House Ways and Means committee – told the Associated Press the game would bring in “as much as $48 million.”

Wait … how does a number shrink like that over nine years?

Perhaps Harrell was calculating economic impact the same way he calculates his campaign reimbursements. Perhaps the “organizers” of this event took note of the attendance at Washington, D.C.’s RFK Stadium last year when a similar bottom-feeder bowl matchup drew fewer than 18,000 fans.

Beyond the dollars and cents, the state’s political landscape has also changed since lawmakers approved money in the FY 2004-05 state budget to land what was then referred to as the “Palmetto Bowl.”

For starters, there is a growing sense that subsidizing college football games is not a core function of government. In 2004 “Republicans” could still get away with proposing these things in a vacuum. There was no true fiscal conservative movement back then. In fact even fiscally “conservative” former Gov. Mark Sanford supported spending taxpayer funds for the “Palmetto Bowl” effort – although he disagreed with the manner in which state lawmakers funded it.

Hell this website’s founding editor Will Folks – then a spokesman for Sanford – actually referred to a bowl game grant as a “worthwhile investment.”

Yikes …

Needless to say, we’ve become infinitely wiser in the intervening years. In fact the editorial position of this website holds that any higher education expense – especially cash earmarked for athletic endeavors affiliated with higher education – represents an unnecessary government expenditure.

Oh, and speaking of such expenses Johnson Hagood Stadium – which would host this so-called “Legends” Bowl – recently underwent a $42 million renovation in which the 21,000-seat facility was equipped with skybox suites and a club-level lounge complete with “wood-paneled bars” and “flat screen televisions.”

How nice …

No matter what the promised “economic return” is, and no matter how “worthwhile” this investment is purported to be – it is not the job of South Carolina taxpayers to subsidize college football games. Accordingly, while we welcome a bowl game to South Carolina’s Lowcountry with open arms – and oppose the ridiculous NCAA boycott of the Palmetto State over the Confederate flag flap – we reject any effort on the part of state or local governments to fund such an effort.

If the “organizers” of this event think they can turn a profit by inviting Arkansas State and Bowling Green to play a bowl game in Charleston, S.C., they should knock themselves out.

Related posts

SC

Upstate South Carolina Police Investigating Animal Cruelty Allegation

Will Folks
SC

North Charleston Councilman Accuses Cop Of Falsifying Police Report

Will Folks
SC

‘Carolina Crossroads’ Update: SCDOT Set To Unveil New Plan To The Public

Will Folks

16 comments

CNSYD August 14, 2013 at 10:48 am

Tickets sold and people in the seats are two different things. When counting up the revenue it is tickets sold only that counts. There are other revenue streams unrelated to the attendance. That is how most bowl games “turn a profit”. Similarly, look at all the empty seats at NFL preseason games. Yet the seats were sold as season ticket holders are usually “forced” to buy preseason game tickets.

Reply
CNSYD August 14, 2013 at 10:48 am

Tickets sold and people in the seats are two different things. When counting up the revenue it is tickets sold only that counts. There are other revenue streams unrelated to the attendance. That is how most bowl games “turn a profit”. Similarly, look at all the empty seats at NFL preseason games. Yet the seats were sold as season ticket holders are usually “forced” to buy preseason game tickets.

Reply
Jackie Chiles August 14, 2013 at 10:58 am

Glad our illustrious leaders think the people of Charleston want to see two crappy teams from crappy conferences see a game played in the freezing cold of December/January. Seems like a money pit.

Reply
Manray9 August 14, 2013 at 11:25 am

Agree, but is it freezing in Charleston in Dec?

Reply
GreenvilleLwyr August 14, 2013 at 11:50 am

It’s certainly not 75 and balmy. Probably closer to Birmingham, which Will still bitches and moans about.

Reply
Jackie Chiles August 14, 2013 at 10:58 am

Glad our illustrious leaders think the people of Charleston want to see two crappy teams from crappy conferences see a game played in the freezing cold of December/January. Seems like a money pit.

Reply
Manray9 August 14, 2013 at 11:25 am

Agree, but is it freezing in Charleston in Dec?

Reply
GreenvilleLwyr August 14, 2013 at 11:50 am

It’s certainly not 75 and balmy. Probably closer to Birmingham, which Will still bitches and moans about.

Reply
Manray9 August 14, 2013 at 11:02 am

“Economic impact” — isn’t that similar to the rationale for using taxpayer money to bribe companies to relocate to the “business paradise” known as South Carolina? Funny what Republicans think is good stewardship. About the only up-to-date and well-maintained infrastructure in the state are football stadiums.

Reply
Manray9 August 14, 2013 at 11:02 am

“Economic impact” — isn’t that similar to the rationale for using taxpayer money to bribe companies to relocate to the “business paradise” known as South Carolina? Funny what Republicans think is good stewardship. About the only up-to-date and well-maintained infrastructure in the state are football stadiums.

Reply
Squishy123 August 14, 2013 at 11:42 am

Sponsoring a bowl isn’t the responsibility of a government.

Reply
Squishy123 August 14, 2013 at 11:42 am

Sponsoring a bowl isn’t the responsibility of a government.

Reply
Crooner August 14, 2013 at 11:43 am

Interesting that in a state where tourism is the number one industry you oppose government fostering that.

Reply
Crooner August 14, 2013 at 11:43 am

Interesting that in a state where tourism is the number one industry you oppose government fostering that.

Reply
IMMAHANGUPPENLISSEN August 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Sun Belt vs MAC? Fuck that noise.

Reply
IMMAHANGUPPENLISSEN August 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Sun Belt vs MAC? Fuck that noise.

Reply

Leave a Comment