Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Tech's Link in Gator Bowl Growth

Interesting article and mention of how Georgia Tech helped increase the profile of the Gator Bowl:

Olsen said one of the early campaigns that really got a lot of the community involved in the Gator Bowl effort was selling memberships in the association.

"I remember when a membership was $15 and that included two tickets to the game. These days, you can’t get a hot dog and a drink (at the game) for that much money," he said.

Olsen added that television — plus some key team selections — also changed the Gator Bowl for the better.

"One that really helped us a great deal was the game played in 1956, when we got Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh and moved the game to Saturday for television," he said. "Tech was hot — one of the best teams in the country — and having Pittsburgh got us the national attention we had never had before."

The 1956 game put the Gator Bowl on the college football map and made it easier to cultivate relationships in order to attract the top teams, Olsen said. "Pretty soon, we could pick up the phone and they knew who we were," he said.