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Orange Bowl Committee and tourism officials wary of Playoff system

The 76th FedEx Orange Bowl kicks off tonight at Land Shark Stadium with the Iowa Hawkeyes facing the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

It’s not exactly the balmy South Florida weather fans from Iowa and Georgia expected, nor what tourism officials had in mind either, when they created the Orange Bowl in 1935 to promote the region as a tourist destination. The country had just endured the Great Depression and the Orange Bowl seemed like a good way to help with economic recovery and encourage visitors to get out of the cold.

Similar feelings abound today, among Orange Bowl Committee, tourism and economic development officials. Although ticket sales have been slow for tonight’s game, local officials love the idea that two out-of-state teams are pitted against each other and many fans have been in South Florida in preparation for days.

OB Committee and tourism officials worry the lengthy vacations planned around the Orange Bowl will end if efforts to create a college football playoff system are successful. The debate rages on as it does annually, but has gotten louder with President Obama expressing his support for a playoff and Congress holding hearings on whether the Bowl Championship Series violates antitrust laws.

The story I wrote today that you can read here explores issues on both sides of the BCS versus playoff debate. Meanwhile, Playoff PAC, a political action committee formed in October to push for a playoff, released its first ad targeting the BCS this week. Watch it here:

Categories: Land Shark Stadium (44), NCAA (38), Orange Bowl (45)

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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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