Monday, August 02, 2010

Monday Night Beer: Paying To Park In BFE & Nine Conference Games in the Big Ten?

Depending on how you want to spin it, the Omaha Royals either have continued the tradition of having free parking for fans...or have joined the rest of minor league baseball in charging you $5 to park.  Or go into the middle with $2 parking.  Confusing?  Not really... 450 of the best parking spaces will charge $5, while 900 more will cost you $2.  The furthest out 450 spots will be free.  So if you arrive late (because you got stuck in traffic driving out to BFE), you'll pay.  If you arrive early and don't mind a nice walk, you can park for free.

In fairness to the Royals, this parking is cheaper than most of the other Pacific Coast League teams.  $5-$6 parking is pretty much the standard in the PCL.  Nashville only charges $3 while Sacramento charges $8 to $10.

It'll be interesting how this works when the rest of the development around BFE takes place...or maybe I should say if, as we really haven't heard of any other development going on out there.  But hey, that's not my problem...that's the problem for the taxpayers of Sarpy County.

Turning east towards Chicago, it seems that all of the Nebraska sports media that are testing the Big Ten's media days are seeing quite a different operation.  All 11 coaches spoke to the media today, and it appears that coaches and players will meet the media again tomorrow.  The general perception seems to be that the Big Ten is more than happy to have Nebraska on board and are seeming to go out of their way to accomodate the new kids on the block. Or at least make a good impression on the media just now being introduced to the Big Ten.  Or maybe it's just that Nebraska and it's fans haven't done anything to offend the other Big Ten schools yet.

It makes me wonder what the Big Ten's media credential policy is for next year in terms of the new media.  (i.e us bloggers)  The three-day Big XII media days are simply impractical for most of us to cover; we have day jobs that pay our bills.  But a one-day trip to Chicago might be possible to swing... just something to ponder as we move forward.

Photo Courtesy Big Ten Conference
I don't think I've ever seen Tom Osborne smile as wide as he did posing with Joe Paterno and Jim Delaney in Chicago today. I'm sure someone cracked a joke to get all three beaming, but still, I get the feeling that Osborne is sincerely happy with Nebraska's move to the Big Ten.

One thing for sure is, right now, we're still in the "romance" part of the switch.  Everything is new and exciting, and everybody is saying nice things about us.

The big news of the day is that Delaney wants to play nine conference games a season, up from eight. If that happens, each team will only avoid two conference foes each season. That's the upside.  The downside is that means one less non-conference game.  With football budgets the way they are, you know the "money" games aren't going away...which means that the games that get dropped are the better matchups. I think the marquee matchups against teams like UCLA, Tennessee, and Miami are safe.  But some of the matchups against Fresno State and Southern Miss could end up getting scuttled because of the need to play that extra conference game.  In an ideal world, NU would go on the road for one non-conference game each season, but with the prospect of playing five conference games on the road every other season, finances dictate that Nebraska can only play a non-conference road game every other year.

Personally, I'd lean against the nine conference game schedule...but I have an inherent bias against it.  Nebraska is starting with a clean slate with no clear rivalries that we're hoping to keep intact.  So the idea of playing 8 conference games a year, with the prospect of playing a name BCS foe and one or two "up and coming" mid majors sounds like a good match to me.  Replacing one of those "up and coming" mid-major games with a conference opponent that we'll see in a year or two down the line anyway doesn't sound like a deal to me.

But I also see the point of, say a Wisconsin, who will see one fewer of their traditional opponents when Nebraska appears on their schedule.  Ideally, the game that gets dropped is the one against Schmuckhead State or some other Sun Belt or 1-AA team...but you know and I know that those games are played for money, and that'll be the last one dropped.

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