The MAC Tournament is unique as it brings the majority of MAC fanbases into one place, Cleveland Ohio. The MAC Football championship only brings two fanbases. In addition, the MAC basektball game is scheduled in advance, allowing fans time to plan their travel to Cleveland. Often times, the MAC football championship teams aren't decided until days before the championship occurs, which keeps many fans out of Detroit.
The solution, the MACtion Kickoff classic. Scheduled after the mismatches of September, before November MACtion, and generally in early October when MAC play starts. MACtion kickoff could be played in the following 8 major cities in the MAC footprint:
2014: New York City (Buffalo), Cincinnati (Ohio & Miami)
2015: Cleveland (Akron & Kent), Chicago (Northern Illinois)
2016: Boston (UMass), Indianapolis (Ball State)
2017 Buffalo (Buffalo), Detroit (WMU, EMU, CMU, BGSU, Toledo)
Here is what the 2014 MACtion Kickoff would look like
On Friday, the MAC would celebrate simultaneously from Times Square New York and Fountain Square Cincinnati.
Akron, Army, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo and Eastern Michigan fans would gather in New York while Central Michigan, Kent State, Miami, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo, UMass and Western Michigan fans would travel to Cincinnati.
The MACtion kicks off Friday with a concert in each city, and a pep rally celebration with all the bands.
Saturday the MAC would rock 3 venues:
At Metlife Stadium, Ball State would take on Army at 11am, Eastern Michigan would face Akron at 4pm and in the finale Buffalo would take on Bowling Green at 9pm.
In Ohio, Umass would take on Miami at Paul Brown Stadium at Noon, and Kent would face NIU at 5pm. Across the street at the Great American Ballpark, Toledo takes on WMU at 1pm while Ohio and CMU face off at 6pm.
Besides creating an iconic event for the conference, the MACtion kickoff could make financial sense as well.
Last year between September 28 and October 19, the conference averaged 17,595 people in attendance each game. For seven games, that would mean 123,165 fans and at $20 per ticket, that would mean $2,463,307 in ticket sales for MAC games in one week. If the MACtion kickoff offered $50 tickets for the entire day's action, they could sell 190,354 tickets between the three ballparks. If sold out, ticket sales would be $9,517,700, a 7 million dollar increase. Divided evenly amongst the 13 MAC Football schools, each team would sacrifice 1 home game every 2 years, but in exchange, they could look to receive $730,000 a year.
For the Bulls, this would mean games in New York City, Cleveland, Boston, and inviting the conference to Buffalo. These games could help the MAC recruit, help develop MAC fan bases and alumni connections and help continue to move the MAC forward with bold moves no other conference is doing.
Would you attend a MACtion kickoff game?