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Jax Daily Record Thursday, May 5, 200512:00 PM EST

Gator Bowl says ACC will sell out


The response to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship football game here December 3 indicates a financial success, the game’s chairman said this week at a meeting of the Gator Bowl Committee.

Bob White, local president of Compass Bank, said he expects to reach the $5.9 million guarantee the association’s directors gave the ACC for a two-year contract and a two-year option.

“Dr Pepper has signed on as the title sponsor and the league’s eight corporate sponsors all have signed up at $250,000,” said White. “This will be a mini-Super Bowl, a corporate event.”

The $125 Club seats are almost gone, he said, and sales are strong at the other two levels, $80 for lower bowl and $60 for upper bowl seats.

Commitments have been received for over half the tickets available. On sale are about 58,000, with 12,000 being held back for each team. The game matches the winners of the league’s two divisions, and those will be determined as late as mid-November.

Tickets now are available only through the bowl’s committee and will be available to the public starting June 1.

“We will sell it out,” said White.

White said that sponsorship opportunities are available for ancillary events such as the welcoming lunch ($50,000,) a golf tournament ($25,000) and a dinner for the conference’s athletics directors ($10,000.)

The committee held its final spring meeting at PRI, the promotion company on King Street, with about 100 committee members present.

GBA President Mike Hartley announced there are now over 200 committee members, highest ever. Members pay a fee of $500 and must provide up to $3,000 in tickets or other sales.

Chairman-elect Scott Keith said that sales for the Jan. 2 Toyota Gator Bowl are 30 percent above sales at this time last year.

— Fred Seely

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