Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Conference Expansion: WCC version

The WCC comes out as one of the big winners in the latest rounds of conference expansion. WCC adds BYU and its significant fan base, just in time for TV rights negotiations. St. Marys, Gonzaga and BYU have all been regular NCAA tourney teams, so this should become one of the premier "mid-major" conferences. People in Utah will also suddenly find a lot of teams on their radar.

As for BYU, this is likely a temporary stop. I'd imagine they have an easy out, and probably a fairly lopsided revenue distribution agreement. (I'd guess that BYU keeps a good chunk of their own money, and probably reserves some rights to television broadcasts.) The WCC also gives them a stable conference with all private religious schools.

BYU will be the "big Kahuna" of the WCC. In both student body size and basketball stadium size, BYU is about the size of the four largest WCC schools combined.
Most of the WCC schools are located in major metro areas with significant LDS and BYU alumni populations. Local BYU fans could probably fill some of the smaller stadiums on their own. This could be a boon to ticket sales (perhaps BYU and some of the premier non-conference games would be packaged with some of the "lesser" games.)

Being the big guy in the conference lets BYU dictate their terms. Key among them is "no games on Sunday." (It's probably hard for a religious conference to turn that one down.) As a little guy in a big conference, they may have much more trouble with that one.

BYU also gets some good exposure. San Diego. Portland. San Francisco. They may be playing in small arenas, but they will be in the biggest cities on the west coast. WCC also does well in other sports like soccer and tennis. The MPSF will likely hold some of the other sports that are not in the WCC. This seems to be a strong west coast push by BYU. If the independent football thing works well, they may just decide they like it. Otherwise, they may be nothing more than a short term blip in one of the most stable conferences.

Basketball Arena Size
Gonzaga 6000
San Francisco 5300
San Diego 5100
Portland 4852
Top 4 current WCC combined21252

Number of Students
BYU 32955
Loyola Marymount 8972
San Francisco 8722
Santa Clara 8377
San Diego 7548
Top 4 current WCC combined33619

No comments:

Post a Comment