Southeast submits bid to host playoff football game

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Despite losing Saturday, Southeast Missouri State University's Redhawks football team is still expected to make the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, which could mean an economic boost for Cape Girardeau if a playoff game is held here.

Southeast's football team has never made the playoffs.

Southeast's bid to host a playoff game was submitted Friday; however, the information schools submit in their bids is not shared publicly by the NCAA, said Cameron Schuh, NCAA spokesman. Southeast's athletic department also declined to release any bid details.

"Further, this information is not shared with the football championship committee until after all 20 teams have been selected and paired so financial guarantees don't subconsciously impact the selection, seeding or pairing processes," Schuh said.

In addition to the amount of the "financial guarantee" offered by each school, the NCAA Division I Football Committee considers several other factors when selecting playoff sites: the quality of the facility, the attendance history and potential, the host team's performance, previous crowd behavior at the prospective host institution and student-athlete well-being, which covers criteria such as travel distance and potential missed class time.

The potential economic effect on Cape Girardeau depends on many factors, including who the opponent will be, if it's a day or night game and how far away the Redhawks' opponents are located, said Chuck Martin, executive director of the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau.

He estimates visitors who may come to the city for a playoff game would spend about $125 per person per day, based on a double-occupancy hotel room. Houck Stadium seats about 10,000 people, with the visiting team likely to receive 25 percent to 50 percent of the available tickets. How the tickets are split between the two teams would determine in part the potential economic benefit to Cape Girardeau, Martin said.

While the city would receive the added benefits of media exposure if the game is televised, that kind of public relations return is difficult to quantify, Martin said.

"Impact could be huge," said John Mehner, executive director of the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce. In the event Cape Girardeau is selected as a playoff site, the chamber would likely assist by working with businesses to secure sponsorships to help raise the money needed to help with the bid, he said.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent Address:

One University Plaza, Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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