Bowling Green hoping Ohio State fans will buy Falcons' extra bowl tickets

Updated: December 13, 2007, 6:39 PM ET
Associated Press

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- Bowling Green is hoping that Ohio State fans will help it avoid getting the bill for a bunch of unsold tickets for the Falcons' bowl game in January.

The school is reaching out to fans traveling to New Orleans for the national championship game and asking them to think about going to see Bowling Green play the night before in nearby Mobile, Ala.

Bowling Green also is asking its supporters who can't make it to the GMAC Bowl to buy tickets anyway and donate them to underprivileged children in Mobile.

Many bowl games require schools to sell a set number of tickets and cover the costs of those tickets that aren't sold.

Bowling Green agreed to sell about 7,500 tickets for the GMAC Bowl at $45 apiece.

Three years ago, the Falcons played in the game and sold just 1,500 tickets and had to pay about $280,000 for unsold tickets.

"It's a great reward for the team, but on bowls like this we don't make money off it,'' said Bowling Green spokesman Dave Meyer.

The school also benefits from the television exposure the game brings, he said.

The timing of the GMAC Bowl on Jan. 6 won't help ticket sales. It comes on a Sunday night after the holidays.

"We have classes the day after and a lot of people have to work Monday,'' Meyer said.

That's why the school is targeting Ohio State fans going to the championship game the following night in New Orleans, about 120 miles from Mobile.

Bowling Green is hoping that Ohio State fans opting to stay in southern Alabama before the game may want something to do the night before and watch the Falcons play Tulsa.

"It's quite a haul down there for our fans,'' Meyer said. "Even if only five Ohio State fans are interested, it will help.''

Bowling Green also is making an appeal to its fans, asking them to buy a ticket that will be donated to needy children through the United Way.

It will help the kids and the school, Meyer said.

They're making an offer to Bowling Green students too -- buy a ticket to the game and they will be excused from missing the first day of classes the next day.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press