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tk13
10-15-2005, 03:02 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/12907704.htm

Nest for Jayhawks in KC?
Chiefs would welcome lots more games like tonight’s vs. Oklahoma

By JASON KING
The Kansas City Star


For the Kansas football team, tonight’s game against Oklahoma could mark the beginning of a string of appearances at Arrowhead Stadium.

“The Chiefs have told us in no uncertain terms that they’d like to have us play out there every year,” KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said.

No one at Kansas is ready to say it will happen. But you can bet that Jayhawk athletic officials will be examining every fact and figure stemming from tonight’s game to determine whether playing an annual game in Kansas City is wise.

“We’ve got about 60,000 alumni in the metro area, yet in our history we’ve never played a game at Arrowhead,” KU athletic director Lew Perkins said. “Whether it works or not, we’d be kicking ourselves if we didn’t at least try.’

It was a year ago this month when KU officials began discussions with Chiefs personnel about moving one of the Jayhawks’ home games to Kansas City.

Lawrence merchants who pledge financial support to the university initially voiced their displeasure over the idea. They said that losing one of six home games would cause a significant jolt to the businesses that depend on the 40,000-plus fans that flock to Lawrence on fall Saturdays.

Perkins, though, pacified those detractors by adding an extra home game — a nonconference game with Appalachian State — to the 2005 schedule. So, when KU agreed to move its game against Oklahoma to Arrowhead, there were still six games scheduled for Memorial Stadium in Lawrence.

The early belief was that playing a game at Arrowhead Stadium would be a financial boon for Kansas, which included the game in its season- ticket package.

Kansas associate athletic director Larry Keating said that selling more than 42,000 tickets for tonight’s game means KU will make more money than it would have for a sold-out game at Memorial Stadium.

That’s because a ticket to a Big 12 game at Memorial Stadium costs $45. But for the Oklahoma game, the price of a good seat is $55, though others can be bought for $35.

Nearly 50,000 tickets had been sold as of Friday evening. Kansas season-ticket holders account for about 26,000 of those seats. Oklahoma sold 4,800 through their ticket office and, surely, plenty of other Sooners fans bought seats through TicketMaster or a similar agency.

While KU keeps 100 percent of the money from ticket sales, the Chiefs will keep all the funds generated from parking and concessions. And, yes, beer will be sold inside the stadium.

“Everyone keeps focusing on the money, but that’s not the crux of why we decided to do this,” Keating said. “We’ve got 60,000 alums and about 50 percent of our football and basketball ticket base living in Kansas City. So it makes sense to play a game there.

“Plus we wanted our team to have the chance to play in a big-time, pro facility. Coach (Mark Mangino) thinks it will really benefit his program.”

Especially if the Jayhawks win.

This game seemed much more appealing when it was first announced last fall. Back then no one would have guessed that Oklahoma — which lost to Southern Cal in last season’s BCS title game — would be 2-3 at this point in the season. Kansas, 3-2, had an ideal opportunity to enter this game 4-1 before wilting against Kansas State last week.

“We would have loved it had both teams had better records, but that’s something we can’t control,” Marchiony said. “I don’t think it will dampen the enthusiasm very much.”

Still, KU officials admit the situations surrounding the two teams may hurt attendance. Assuming the walk-up crowd is strong, about 55,000 are expected to attend. That number could’ve been 10,000-15,000 higher if the two teams were better.

The game, which will be televised by TBS, may not draw much interest on a national scale. But the outcome will have a huge impact on both teams. A loss by Oklahoma would severely threaten the Sooners’ bowl eligibility, while a win by the Jayhawks would make postseason play likely.

For the Sooners, Saturday’s game marks their second appearance at Arrowhead in less than a year. Bob Stoops’ squad defeated Colorado here in last season’s Big 12 title game.

“Playing (at Arrowhead) will probably give us a little extra bounce,” said Stoops, whose team lost to Texas 45-12 last week.

Of course, it could do the same thing for Kansas — not just tonight, but potentially in years to come.

“Right now it’s just an experiment,” Marchiony said. “After it’s over we’ll evaluate things and determine if we want to do it again.”

skky man
10-15-2005, 03:35 AM
Well you can count me in to be there supporting OU! OU travels well and it'll be a great time! Boomer Sooner baby were down but we'll be back!

Saulbadguy
10-15-2005, 07:25 AM
The city of Lawrence doesn't. They are estimating a loss of around a million bucks.

Skip Towne
10-15-2005, 07:44 AM
I think it's a great idea. I hope it works out. Akansas plays a home game at Little Rock each year for the same reasons. Also, KU has done very well at Kemper. The Lawrence crowd can suk mah baows.

Extra Point
10-15-2005, 07:52 AM
Yeah, it is a great idea. I hope a lot of wheat gets waved.

Saulbadguy
10-15-2005, 08:10 AM
I think it's a great idea. I hope it works out. Akansas plays a home game at Little Rock each year for the same reasons. Also, KU has done very well at Kemper. The Lawrence crowd can suk mah baows.
How far is Little Rock away from Fayetteville? 3 hours? Lawrence is 40 minutes away from KC. You'd think KU fans in KC could travel that far to see a game. The whole Kemper thing is stupid too. The crowd sucks, the arena is awful. I was there at the KU vs Oregon game in Kemper a couple years back. The freaking lights went off at halftime. Whole place was dark. I heard some guy yell "WELCOME TO KEMPER!"

I wouldn't be opposed if KU/MU wanted to start a series in Arrowhead, I think that would be neat. However both teams would have to be willing to give up a home game every year, and I don't see either of them prepared to do that.

Also, whatever home field advantage they had in Lawrence (pretty good when the fans are pumped up), is gone now.

Skip Towne
10-15-2005, 08:16 AM
Kemper has gone to hell but it has been very good to the Jayhawks. Remember 1988? BTW, how old are AFH and Memorial stadium? About my age I think. F*ck Lawrence. Let's move KU to KC.

Nelson Muntz
10-15-2005, 08:18 AM
The city of Lawrence doesn't. They are estimating a loss of around a million bucks.

They still had their six home games though. I know App. State doesn't draw as much as OU, but they added a home game to the schedule to lighten the loss of revenue.

Saulbadguy
10-15-2005, 08:21 AM
Kemper has gone to hell but it has been very good to the Jayhawks. Remember 1988? BTW, how old are AFH and Memorial stadium? About my age I think. F*ck Lawrence. Let's move KU to KC.
Don't know about Memorial. AFH is 50 years old. They did update/improve it over the offseason though.

Skip Towne
10-15-2005, 08:44 AM
Don't know about Memorial. AFH is 50 years old. They did update/improve it over the offseason though.
Memorial Stadium was buit in 1921. It was the first stadium built on a college campus west of the Mississippi River. Believe it of not, Phog Allen was the Head Football Coach in 1920.