This quote from Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs caught Homerism’s attention: “If we were to give up a home game in 2010, that would mean in back-to-back seasons we would have only seven home games. That’s not good for anybody. That’s not good for our players, our fans or the Auburn area.”
(Jacobs was responding to questions regarding Auburn’s decision to turn down a proposal from ESPN to play UCLA in a 2010 game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.)
So, that means Auburn explicitly intends to schedule eight home games every other year. My initial reaction was surprise that an athletic director would admit his school aimed to overload its schedule in such a way. I mean, it’s one thing to stack the deck in your favor. It’s entirely something else to flaunt it like that.
The more I thought about Jacobs’ comments, though, the more his allusion to the impact of home games on the “Auburn area” really struck me. It would be pretty interesting to see an analysis of the economic impact of a home game on local businesses, assuming that’s what Jacobs meant. What percentage of local enterprises’ annual revenues comes from game weekends, for instance?
Also, what duties do college athletic departments have to the local economy? How many masters should athletic directors be expected to serve, assuming school officials like Jacobs really do feel obligated to help support the local economy?