Scheduling and Sporting Events

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Captain Sinico
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Scheduling and Sporting Events

Post by Captain Sinico »

A recent discussion on the Y! group (and, now, here) has me thinking: has anyone had an actual major problem when a tournament was scheduled at the same time as a campus sporting event? I know that, here at UIUC anyway, we've held tournaments at the same time as football games several times without issue. We hold our tournaments about a mile from the stadium and our stadium is enormous and usually near full. I actually wouldn't hesitate too much trying to do the same during a basketball game, too.
I've noticed that it's often a given in the minds of many that scheduling over a football game is a bad idea that will result in disaster, etc. I'm just wondering if anyone's actually empirically experienced that phenomenon or can explain why they think it's such a big deal. It seems to me that, at least at Illinois, a large percentage of the attendees are students anyway, an even larger percentage of the remaining people are from nearby, and the facilities have their own parking, so the events should only minimally consume resources that the tournament would need. Is this not true elsewhere? Does the town entirely grind to a halt when football's on?
Incidentally, the biggest problems we've ever had were a lack nearby hotel rooms for teams due to a mathematics conference once and a concert (I believe the inexplicably popular Toby Keith, but someone like that anyway) another time. Most of the problems I've ever heard of tournaments having were due to things like those, i.e. big events nearby that you may not have known about or that aren't normal school stuff. It seems to me that schools have any (large) number of small-scale events like quizbowl tournaments every weekend, football or no, so that most of them should have things designed so that these smaller events can run as smoothly as possible even during a campus sporting event.

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Post by Romero »

Quiz Bowl tournaments are impossible at many places opposite football games. I know that to be true at Texas A&M, Texas-Austin, and Oklahoma. I would guess this problem applies specifically to teams that draw in the neighborhood of 90,000 to its games. Many campuses have parking issues on typical days with university communities that number significantly less than football crowds. In addition to hotels, there are parking issues, and the necessity for increased security to prevent vandalism by the masses.
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Post by UFeng »

I'd never try and run a tournament opposite a football game in Gainesville- hotels would be impossible to come by and the campus would be flooded with people and cars.

In 2004 I unwittingly scheduled our spring high school tournament against the NHRA Gatornationals and several teams had problems getting hotels in the area.

There's always so many headaches in running a tournament, that I wouldn't add to it by making the teams' lives (and hence mine) more difficult in the process.

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Post by jazzerpoet »

At TU, at least, there have never been any problems scheduling tournaments on the same day as football or basketball games. The football stadium and the basketball arena are on the opposite side of the campus from where we host our tournaments. Part of the ease of scheduling has to be attributed with the poor play of both teams for quite a while now, but the city of Tulsa, in general, does not seem to be a very big sports town.

Moreover, since the games usually start in the afternoon, and we start our tournaments in the morning, there is never a problem with parking; and I do not think that I have ever seen a tailgating party before a TU football game, except for those run by the Student Association.

However, the one downside of running tournaments opposite sporting events is that we typically lose a few of our moderators after lunch (those who enjoy the fact that we get free tickets to every sporting event); but that has never really affected the efficiency of any tournaments, since most of them use single-elimination playoffs after lunch anyway.

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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

ACF Fall at UIUC was on the same weekend as that university's homecoming, wasn't it? I had to stay in a pretty sketchy hotel (at 3 AM I was awoken by a drunkard outside my window falling and breaking his head, along with the subsequent sounds of his friends yelling and the ambulance coming) and I heard stories that other teams had to stay as far away as Danville.
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Post by Dan Greenstein »

When I was at Maryland, we avoided hosting a tournaments the same day as a football game. There were several reasons:

- I went to every football game for which I was present and not at a quizbowl tournament out of town. Had a tournament been going on the same time as a game, I would not have been happy.

- Having your staff reduced by people going to the game, whether for business (marching band) or pleasure, puts a crimp in tournament planning.

- The building where we usually held our tournaments is less than half a mile from the stadium. The parking lot to which we direct visiting teams to park is full of tailgaters on a game day. We would rather not deal with such issues, which are more relevant now that the football team is having a string of success once again.

Generally, other sporting events would not be an issue unless something crazy was likely to happen. For example, while I do not think it has happened yet, I do not think it would be wise to schedule a tournament at Maryland the same day as the Duke basketball game. However, an early season basketball game against a SWAC team, or a lacrosse playoff quarterfinal, would not be cause for concern.

There are a few non-athletic events that need to be watched for, such as Maryland Day, when tens of thousands of people come to campus for free stuff.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

The last tournament I went to at Maryland (the Manu mirror last spring) was in fact scheduled against both an NIT game on campus and what seemed like some sort of big day for a local rec basketball league taking place on the floor above us. Didn't have any problems except for the youth basketball people unplugging the soda machines in order to sell their own snacks.

VCU doesn't have a football team and there is a designated parking structure for the basketball stadium, two facts for which I'm eternally grateful. In the event that I get enough people to host another tournament here, I will have the luxury of ignoring the on-campus sports schedule when picking a date. However, I will check to see if the Richmond Marathon is going on this time and try to give people directions that don't require waiting for it to pass like I did for the 03 tournament.
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Post by orangecrayon »

it all depends on what the event is, since our football stadium and gym are four blocks down the street from our tournament facilities and we've usually got at least two or more band members. if it's football, men's basketball or wrestling, there's no way i'd schedule a tournament the same day. i've done it against women's basketball and haven't had a problem.

and like someone else mentioned, there are certain non-sporting events around campus/stillwater i wouldn't go up against, like the residential life and greek life previews, varsity review, land run commemoration nonsense, etc.
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Post by First Chairman »

You just plain don't do that. Many of the lots near facilities that I use for competitions get absconded by Duke athletics for parking. Usually those lots are reserved for the high-paying alumni and athletics boosters.

Because of that, most events run by student groups or other departments are held on weekends when there is no football game. Of course that means that those weekends are difficult to get the rooms that you want to run an event. At Case, the non-football weekends wound up being student orientation/recruitment weekends except for ACT day, so that was the only day we had available to run a competition.
Last edited by First Chairman on Thu Jul 21, 2005 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Captain Sinico »

Bruce wrote:ACF Fall at UIUC was on the same weekend as that university's homecoming, wasn't it? I had to stay in a pretty sketchy hotel (at 3 AM I was awoken by a drunkard outside my window falling and breaking his head, along with the subsequent sounds of his friends yelling and the ambulance coming) and I heard stories that other teams had to stay as far away as Danville.
"Had to" is, I believe, something of an exaturation, at least from what I recall from talking to Yaphe about the terrible hotel that you guys stayed in. Also, as everyone knows, we're really big on breaking heads at UIUC.

In all seriousness, though, my concerns that this might be an issue caused me to ask a number of teams if they'd had any problems, and (other than gripes from Chicago that they'd chosen a bad hotel and I think someone complaining about tournaments costing too much) I heard none, so I'm just going by that. I think some people were coming from Bloomington and decided to stay in Danville since it's on the way.

I really think, however, that a lot of you are, for lack of a better word, being cowardly about this whole thing. Nobody seems to have any actual negative stories from scheduling over football, only a bunch of bluster about how it's impossible and you'd never try it. I really challenge you to see how bad parking, etc. really would be if you put some work into it (e.g. you'll need to get a building not right next to the stadium, probably and you'll need to make sure there's somewhere to park that football crowds won't steal.) I think you'll find it's not nearly so bad as you're assuming. The heart of what I'm trying to say is that it seems like other things of a similar scale and nature can be made to happen on a college campus during a football game, and I don't see why quizbowl should be exceptional in this regard.

What I do understand and did expect is that some places would lose staff to the games, which is a valid reason for not holding a tournament, but not the one that everyone cites when refusing to schedule over a game. I can't see how, if you announce your intent sufficiently in advance and have anything like dedicated team members, they wouldn't be willing to forego at least one football game to run a tournament. For members of a band this is maybe somewhat different, but, from what I know and regret knowing about the UIUC band, you're allowed to miss a game or two if there are other things you're doing.

Wondering at the untold masses apparently packing Duke football games,
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Post by UFeng »

I wouldn't say that refusing to run an event against a football game is cowardly. I think the main thing here is a difference in scale:

Memorial Stadium (UIUC) 70,904
Kyle Field (Texas A&M) 87,555
Sanford Stadium (UGA) 92,746
Neyland Stadium (UT-Knoxville) 104,079
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (Gainesville) 88,548

South of the Mason-Dixon, the college football is a little bigger than other places. I mean, all due respect to UIUC- but thats a football program that's excited to have Ron Zook.
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Post by Scipio »

Note well that a) as my mother went to the University of Tennessee from 1984-1989, I lived in Knoxville for several years, and can testify as to what Knoxville and the UT campus is like during home games; b) I went to HS in Kingsport, TN (90 miles east of Knoxville) and to college at Memphis (some seven hours from Knoxville), and has seen what roads are like in the state during UT home games. From that experience, I can assert in no uncertain terms the following:

- UT Football is just barely hedged by Southern Baptism as the official religion of Tennessee. UT draws fans from all over the state (fans regulalrly made the trip from Memphis during home games), and trust me when I say the entire city will be completely shut down during the game. This includes every available parking space for a five mile radius from Neyland Stadium, which will be taken up. Knoxville residents are familiar with this problem (one never tries to drive to the library during the three hours before and after the game, much less during, because cars will be parked on both sides of the street, in the street, and on the sidewalks up to the entrance). Fines can run as high as $500 and fans will risk it for a chance to go to the game. Since the Stadium is very close to the Campus, there will be no parking of any kind to be found. Moreover, the night before will see all the hotels in the city occupied. And no, it does not matter who the opponent is; UT fans are rabid, such that once travellers from Knoxville filled all the hotels in Memphis during home games, and this was to see the Memphis Kittens, who are hardly a University of Florida-esque football powerhouse.

- So, no; Robin's concern is legitimate, as are the concerns of teams who are averse to running tournaments during football games; for some schools, this is just a fact of life.

- That having been said: the last time the Fall coincided with a UT Home game, the event was moved to nearby Pelissippi State and went off without a hitch, and I have no doubts but that this year's fall will be likewise. I encourage southern teams to attend; and I have little doubt that a move to Sunday will be wholly unneccessary.


Edit: For terrible spelling, half-formed thoughts, sentence fragments, and other random atrocities.
Last edited by Scipio on Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Romero »

Mike you are just wrong. I think that you have to experience it to understand it, and so I suppose we can forgive you. On football weekends in College Station, nothing else can or does function on campus. Every parking space within 2 miles of campus is used. A mall's parking lot (some 10 miles away) is used and fans bused in. The major street near the stadium is closed for pedestrians to use. In some locations were football is king, football populations can double the population of the town.

http://tinyurl.com/4hh9o

Maybe it is possible to host opposite the 42nd ranked football draw, that is not the case in many places.
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Post by ASimPerson »

At Tech we have a 300-acre urban campus with a 55,000 seat stadium.

All of the non-residential parking (and even then, all of the east campus residential) is used for football parking. There is absolutely no where viable to park for a quizbowl tournament, as I've walked past the lots we use during both big and small games (and Tech only sells out the big games). So it's not infeasible because we're afraid, it's infeasible because it is.
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Post by quizbowlmike »

I really think, however, that a lot of you are, for lack of a better word, being cowardly about this whole thing.
Not cowardly, realistic.
I really challenge you to see how bad parking, etc. really would be if you put some work into it (e.g. you'll need to get a building not right next to the stadium, probably and you'll need to make sure there's somewhere to park that football crowds won't steal.)
Not only is every parking spot on campus taken up, but every front yard has sold space to parking. All the apartment complexes in town have sold off their spots for paking, the mall parking lot is full as well. Not to mention the hundreds of people who just park wherever they can find an open piece of grass on campus. Most of the lots on campus are sectioned off for RVs or alumni parking.

Driving through, onto, or around campus isnt even an option prior to and just after the games. And i'm not saying that it's just because of traffic, there are police in the road telling you to turn and then there is no driving through campus unless you have a handicap sticker or contribute $10,000 to the university yearly. I once had a broken foot, with a cast and crutches, and they would not let a friend of mine drive me to through campus.

As far as finding a place to stay goes, the closest hotel room that can be found to Gainesville (and I'd assume it would be about the same at other large football schools, i.e. Tenn, Michigan, maybe everywhere but Illinois?) within a month of a home football game is close to 30 miles away. I know this because I've tried to look for a room in October for a game in November. The closest I could find was in Ocala.
I think you'll find it's not nearly so bad as you're assuming.
You are just wrong here.

As a former high school coach, I probably wouldnt want to bring my team to a campus that's having a football game simply because of the masses of drunk people roaming around. Although, this could possibly be an upside for a college tournament.
My views in no way represent those of the UF College Bowl team. (by request)
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Post by orangecrayon »

although our football team isn't quite as good as our neighbors to the south, stillwater is pretty much the same as college station and gainesville on game days, only with additional traffic woes brought on by road and stadium construction.

trust me, if this wasn't the case, scheduling high school tournaments would be much easier for me.
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Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox »

Scipio wrote:
- UT Football is just barely hedged by Southern Baptism as the official religion of Tennessee. [/size]
This ladies & gentlemen is why the south BLOWS!

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Scheduling and Sporting Events

Post by Encyclopedia Brown »

Once CNU gets its team going (hopefully this fall), we will try to have our events in the spring. The football team is one of the best in D-III, and the basketball team always contends for championships. The campus is also small, and there aren't many parking spaces, but there is space to have matches.
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Post by Dan Greenstein »

Dan Greenstein wrote:Generally, other sporting events would not be an issue unless something crazy was likely to happen. For example, while I do not think it has happened yet, I do not think it would be wise to schedule a tournament at Maryland the same day as the Duke basketball game. However, an early season basketball game against a SWAC team, or a lacrosse playoff quarterfinal, would not be cause for concern.
The Maryland basketball schedule is out. Guess which team they are playing Saturday, February 11 at 1 pm, or the same weekend as the 2006 NAQT SCT?

2005-06 Maryland Basketball Schedule

I will be very interested to see what happens regarding scheduling.
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