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UM wants to bid for FCS national title game

UM wants to bid for FCS national title game

MISSOULA - University of Montana officials told members of Missoula's business community that the school would like to bid for the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision national title game in 2010.

University administrators and athletics officials presented the idea Monday afternoon to business leaders, explaining that they would have to raise as much as $300,000 to make a competitive bid.

The FCS national championship game has been held in Chattanooga, Tenn., since 1997, but that city's contract ends this year. The deadline to submit bids to host the 2010 title game is October.

Assistant athletic director Chuck Maes said a handful of schools have already expressed interest in hosting the event, including Chattanooga.

Challenges include raising enough money in such a short amount of time along with the estimated $100,000 cost of bringing in lights for a night game and possible upgrades required for the press box and locker rooms.

A financial institution would need to guarantee at least 75 percent of the bid amount before UM could submit a bid.

Jim Foley, UM's executive vice president, said the university cannot contribute to the bid guarantee because it is funded by tax dollars and tuition money, but he said the university is willing to facilitate the bid process and oversee preparations.

The NCAA would run the event and profit from the ticket sales, but hosting the game would bring business to local hotels and restaurants and bring national media attention to the city.

Athletic director Jim O'Day said winter weather and UM's location have prevented Missoula from hosting the title game in the past, but he said the NCAA is giving more consideration to the athletic experience and community support.

The NCAA decides the length of the contract.

Montana has advanced to the national championship game six times since 1995, including last season.


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