Cyber-side Chat No. 56

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
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Cyber-side Chat No. 56

Last Wednesday we announced the renewal of an old football series: LSU vs. Tulane. Beginning in 2006, we will play Tulane on a home and home basis for a ten-year period, in a revival of one of the oldest college football series in the South.

I feel this agreement with Tulane is important because it gives us an annual non-conference game with great historical significance, including a considerable financial arrangement, around which we can plan the rest of our scheduling for the next decade.

By finalizing this agreement, and with the recent decision of the NCAA to add a 12th game to the regular season schedule each year beginning in 2006, we still have three non-conference games to schedule on a yearly basis in addition to Tulane.

This is a unique agreement because LSU will retain and sell 40,000 tickets for those games that are played in the Louisiana Superdome, giving us revenue that helps offset the loss of a home playing date in the years that we travel to Tulane. This ticket-sharing plan can benefit LSU up to $1.6 million for each game played at the Superdome.

Under the new contract, LSU and Tulane will meet each season for 10 years, beginning on September 23, 2006 in Tiger Stadium and alternating sites each year through the final game of the agreement on October 31, 2015, in the Superdome.

A lot of credit goes to Dan Radakovich, our senior associate AD, for developing this unique ticket-sharing plan that helps us meet our revenue goals. My thanks, too, to Tulane athletics director Rick Dickson for working to put this series back together.

History and tradition play an important part in college athletics. The color and pageantry of the game truly set us apart from professional sports. That’s one of the reasons why I am excited about renewing this old series.

But there are a number of other ancillary benefits to this series:

There are recruiting benefits in taking the Tigers into New Orleans. That’s why you’ve seen teams like Texas go to the Superdome to play Tulane.

There are marketing and promotional opportunities created by playing an annual in-state series. Businesses are often attracted to affiliating their names with an annual college athletics event, and we are going to encourage our new media rights holder, LSU Sports Properties, to pursue those opportunities.

There is a travel convenience factor for LSU fans that is unparalleled for any other potential road game. I cannot think of an easier place for LSU fans to travel for a road game than New Orleans.

LSU has always had a rich LSU fan base and large alumni following in New Orleans, and I believe it is always a positive when one of our athletics teams can play in New Orleans.

And finally, this locks in an annual non-conference Division I opponent. I think all of us have recognized the problems major schools all across the country are having with teams dropping and postponing games. This is one we can count on, and one that virtually assures a sellout every game.

Because of the ticket-sharing plan in the Superdome that provides significant revenue to LSU, this long-term agreement with Tulane does not preclude us in the coming years from pursuing other attractive intersectional games. I will have more on our 12th game scheduling plans in a future Cyber-side Chat.

LUNCH WITH LES
I hope you will join us for a special event on Thursday, June 16, called “Lunch on the 50 With Les Miles.” It’s your opportunity to have lunch on the field of Tiger Stadium while hearing from Coach Miles about the coming season. I will also provide an update on all of our construction projects, and you’ll meet other Tiger coaches and players.

We are working with our on-campus concessions vendor to provide hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken breasts and other great luncheon items for your enjoyment.

Gates open at 11:30 a.m. with lunch scheduled to begin at noon. Tickets go on sale Wednesday for $50 each and space is limited. Reserve your seat through the LSU ticket office by calling (225) 578-2184, by logging on to www.LSUsports.net, or by stopping by the ticket office at the LSU Athletic Administration Building.

We welcome your comments, so write to us at LSUvision@etigers.net. Although we cannot promise a response to every e-mail we receive, please be assured that every letter will be read. Thank you for your continued support of Tiger Athletics.