Thursday, December 18, 2008

Music City Bowl Seat Locations

We've had a few calls from Commodore fans surprised or disappointed in the location of their seats in LP Field for the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl. Let me take a quick stab at explaining how seating works at all bowl games and major championship events.

In the case of the Music City Bowl, the Nashville Sports Council heavily depends upon ticket sales to the local community. This year, before invitations were even extended, bowl officials reported sales of 27,000, up significantly from recent years. These fans are generally issued prime tickets because it's hoped they will return year after year.

Our lower level seats mirror Boston College's - the locations determined by bowl officials. It works this way at all of the bowls - Rose, Sugar, Outback, Liberty, etc. Since its been 26 years since we've had the chance to go bowling, this is part of the learning curve for some of us.

Two weeks ago I worked at the Southeastern Conference Championship Game in the wonderful Georgia Dome. Tide fans began behind the goal posts and wrapped around to the sideline, ditto for Gator fans. Since the Bama fans are many and devoted, they no doubt picked up other seats on the open market.

When we said we have the best tickets available, we meant our seats were lower level and in our section. What fun would it be to sit in the upper deck on the 35 yard line by yourself?

Speaking of the upper deck, good seats are in the eyes of the beholder. A few years ago we played Tennessee twice downtown. We had more leeway in where to put our fans and based on advice from the home field Titans, put most of our donors in the lower level corners rather than assigning them upstairs, assuming they'd appreciate the lower proximity to the action. While most fans did, we heard from some of the more vocal ones that they'd rather be upstairs. Had we put our donors in the upper deck, some would have been disappointed they weren't down lower. It is difficult if not impractical to contact each buyer on a preference, especially on one-shot games. As most fans know, our ticket office tries very hard to honor our fans' requests in Vanderbilt Stadium or Memorial Gymnasium.

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