Tonight's Championship Game (and Tribune To Sell Cubs)

Tickets For Tonight's Championship Game:
We expected to see tickets upper deck tickets selling for face value ($77) for tonight's game. But the Florida fans seemed to have driven up to Atlanta and purchased some of the tickets on the street. The going rate for one of these upper deck seats is about $200 apiece, which is very reasonable. This is not including the "Distant View" seats, which are so ridiculous I'm not sure they should even be sold. Ebay's Stubhub said the average ticket price to the championship game was $450 apiece. Stubhub also reports that the price for the Ohio State-Florida BCS national championship game averaged over $1,200.

Give Them A Piece:

Myles Brand, NCAA President
Myles Brand, NCAA President

I've been trying for years to convince NCAA president Myles Brand that the least he could do would be to agree to give players whose jersey numbers are clearly being sold to get half the school's cut on the jerseys. It's only fair since that's definitely coming directly from the players. So say Nike sells 5,000 No. 20 Ohio State jerseys. The wholesale price on those are about $40 each. So instead of giving OSU the entire 8 percent cut, split it between Oden and Ohio State. That means Oden would get $8,000 from the sale of his jerseys. That, of course, is chump change should the manchild go pro. If he's the first pick in this year's NBA Draft, he'll sign a guaranteed three-year contract (according to the Rookie Scale with the allowed 20 percent bonus) of $15,034,940.

Crossing The Line?:
Before I ask for another reform from the NCAA, I do have to admit that they are absolute pros on putting on a big event like the Final Four. Flawless execution all weekend makes this an easy event to cover. Now, onto my next pulpit. You can't tell me that we shouldn't treat the kids like professional athletes when every time they go to the foul line, their faces appear on the advertising boards.

Can An Ohio State Win Give Them Merchandising Title?:
It's actually very possible. Last year, Ohio State made $5.7 million in royalties up from the $5.2

million the school made when it won the BCS title in 2002-03. But Ohio State's Rick Van Brimmer told me this morning that right now the school is very close to surpassing $8 million in royalties for this year. How about Florida, which is going for back-to-back basketball titles? They only made $3.2 million in royalties last season.

Championship Trademarks:
If Florida wants to use "Back-To-Back-To-Back" - referencing its basketball, football, then basketball titles, it can. The trademark for that phrase is currently dead. Aside from March Madness, the NCAA has been using "And Then There Were Four" and "The Road Ends Here."

One Shining Moment:
Tonight's "One Shining Moment" will be the recording that Luther Vandross made, not the one sung by the song's writer David Barrett.

Tribune To Sell Cubs:
As part of their deal with Sam Zell announced this morning, the Chicago Tribune said it will sell the Cubs at the end of the 2007 season. It should be interesting to see how much the Cubs go for. The number that is being bandied about is $600 million. From an asset standpoint, that number is absolutely ridiculous and stupid. With the limited seats in Wrigley and only so much capacity to build out, much of the revenue growth has to come from ticket increases. Advertising is also limited -- even though the team is dressing the outfield doors with Under Armour logos this year -- because of the brick and ivy. Let's also not forget that the Tribune Co. spent so much this offseason that it essentially loaded debt onto the team in the form of huge, long-term contracts. One positive for a new owner, the Cubs are resistant to bad seasons. They've clearly proven that they can always sell out no matter what their win-loss is.

Questions? Comments?