Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Arch Rivalry Series Cancelled

Sadly, Mizzou and Illinois won't be continuing the annual Arch Rivalry football game at the Edward Jones Dome after the current series expires in 2010. Said Illinois Athletic Director Ron Guenther:

“Eventually, we might resume it on a home-and-home basis, or perhaps return to St. Louis, but we have been leaning toward games on campus at some point in the future. This has been a big-time game that draws good income and TV coverage. With all that said, since we want to get to seven or eight home games, you have to evaluate the neutral game.”

It seems to me that everybody loses in this case - the schools and their football programs lose not only the $1 million payout, but the national TV exposure and the recruiting benefits that come from playing a game in St. Louis, the fans lose out on the ability to see Mizzou or Illinois right here at home, and St. Louis loses a great event and its economic impact.

I'll miss the college football atmosphere that the Arch Rivalry series brought to town. The games were a blast to experience in person, and I'm not even an alumnus of either school.

Hopefully Frank Viverito and the Sports Commission can get the two schools to agree to return to St. Louis in the near future. Like the Braggin' Rights basketball game between Mizzou and Illinois, the Arch Rivalry series needs to be a yearly tradition here.

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