This just in, Ohio State will play the University of Florida in the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl at EverBank Field on Monday. It will be televised on ESPN 2.
Few, other than Gator Bowl President/CEO Rick Catlett, Executive Vice-President/CAO Cheri O’Neill and GBA Board Chairman Greg Smith seem to be getting excited about the match up in the annual classic.
Ticket sales are lagging. Hotel rooms are not being booked. It’s early. Still five days to kickoff. But that is the problem with our Gator Bowl Association.
We (citizens of Jacksonville) hear very little from Rick or Cheri or the many on their appointed board until a month out from the game. They feel secure no matter what happens or doesn’t, financially the City will bail them out if things should go south. It’s happened before.
But that will be another story.
Why can’t the GBA promote our bowl and our city year round? Other bowls with less resources and staff certainly keep their name and promote ticket sales all year.
Ohio State was allocated 12,750 tickets for the Gator Bowl and has sold a little more than 7,000. Before Christmas Gators fans had purchased a little more than half of Florida’s 15,000 guarantee.
Better late than ever.
People who donate blood to the local blood alliance will be given a chance to win one of 57 pairs of Gator Bowl game tickets. There are other media and civic promotions going on right now to try and fill some seats with local supporters.
In September, Taxslayer.com signed to be the title sponsor of the Gator Bowl. It’s our bowl's fourth title sponsor in the past six years.
The Georgia based sponsor also has a NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. to drive his car onto the field and do the coin toss before the game. The Gator Bowl's new title sponsor used to be known as Rhodes-Murphy Income Tax Services and dealt with the IRS.
So they are probably very acquainted with loopholes. With a three-year agreement with the GBA, that might serve them well.