Alabama And Clemson To Play In Chilly San Francisco 49ers Home
Why in the world is the College Football Playoff National Championship game being played in a suburb of San Jose, CA? In January, no less.
Well, money, of course, but even all the dollars in the world should not have influenced this bad decision. The weather in Northern California in January is cold and damp. It’s going to be 31 degrees at night the day I’m writing this post.
It could be raining. I just checked the weather for Santa Clara and it’s forecast to be overcast (hight of 61, low of 49) but it is going to raining for the three days leading up to the game and the day after it.
This is Alabama-Clemson IV in the title game for a major sport. What we may get is the slop bowl.
Worse yet, the conditions may result in the best team not winning. It could be the team that handles the conditions better, conditions that should not be a factor in a game of this magnitude.
Plus, it could be far less of an entertaining game. A sloppy field may have the coaches resort to a run-heavy don’t-make-mistakes game plan. This would relegate prolific passers Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence to “game managers” instead of playmakers. And what will a wet field man for Tagovailoa’s sore ankle?
Plus, it’s not like Santa Clara is a desirable location in the first place. San Jose, either. It’s not tropical, it’s not near a beach and it’s certainly not San Francisco. Which is also cold and damp this time of the year, anyway.
You can’t even fly into a decent airport. San Jose International is like a small outpost and there are few direct flights into it from outside of California. This increased the travel time and cost for fans; fares from Birmingham are $1,000.
Levis Stadium is also clear across the country for these two Southern teams. Granted, when the location was chosen, one could only guess at the teams playing in the game but San Claris is not conveniently located for any team outside of the Pac-12. And what, did officials really think USC had a chance to be there with Clay Helton as coach?
Ticket sales – or lack thereof – reflect the location. Current prices on Stubhub and other outlets are around $250 and I’ll bet if you show up, you can find seats for less than $100. Maybe even $50 if you’re good at that kind of thing (one of my friends is an expert at it, by the way).
This location is bad for the fans, for the teams, for college football and even tourism for the area. But it will be good for TV advertisers, because most Bama and Clemson supporters will be watching from their homes or local sports bars as they won’t be at the game.
Note: Just as I was finishing this post, a friend who went to a Pac-12 Championship game in Levis Stadium stopped by the house. Here’s what he had to say about it: “The stadium is steril. It has no personality. It’s very corporate.”
Yep, it’s made to make money, which is about all this year’s championship game will do, too.