A college bowl game could be coming to Cincinnati's TQL Stadium
Cincinnati USA Sports Commission is exploring plans for a new college football bowl game — the Chili Bowl — that would be broadcast on the CW network.
Jackie Reau, the energetic CEO of Game Day Communications, and the Cincinnati USA Sports Commission, want to add the Queen City to the growing lineup of December college football bowl games.
They announced plans Thursday for the Cincinnati Chili Bowl, that could be played next year at TQL Stadium, "that would air exclusively on the CW Network once the event meets official approval," according to the media release.
The Cincinnati Chili Bowl was inspired by a "business plan that was developed as a class project by my Xavier University sports administration class about seven years ago," Reau said.
The game "will feature two Division I conferences where two of their bowl-eligible teams will be invited to play in the December postseason game. Discussions with conferences are underway. Pending official approval, the three-hour telecast would air on The CW Network and would be available in 100+ million homes across America," according to the announcement.
With most college football bowl games airing on ESPN, how can the CW grab the Chili Bowl?
"ESPN owns several college bowl games but this is a new one and we chose to partner with the CW," Reau tells me.
Cincinnati — and Cincinnati chili — has a big booster at the CW, which was purchased in October by Nexstar Media Group, the nation's largest television station owner. Sean Compton, Nexstar's president of networks — overseeing the CW, Antenna TV, NewsNation and Chicago's WGN TV/radio — got his start at Cincinnati's WLW-AM. He's the son of Dale "Truckin' Bozo" Sommers, the former WLW overnight host.
"I am thrilled that it is a Cincinnati-based bowl game," said Compton, whose drive-through order is always three cheese coneys with no onion. "Cincinnati was where my career started and is filled with great people. Giving the city a much deserved national spotlight, especially now with the recent Bengals successes, Cincinnati is becoming a football town again.
"This is just the beginning of some exciting announcements for the CW network," he adds.
Reau, who likes her cheese coneys with extra hot sauce, said that "Sean Compton has been our CW champion."
Beth Feldman, CW senior vice president for communications, says the TV network is game for the bowl game. "We are thrilled that Cincinnati is partnering with the CW to exclusively broadcast the Chili Bowl," she says.
Compton has never forgotten his roots. After Clear Channel purchased Cincinnati's Jacor Communications, he rose through the ranks to become vice president of programming. In 2008 he joined former Jacor/Clear Channel executive Randy Michaels at Chicago's Tribune Media, which was acquired by Nexstar in 2019. While at Tribune, he launched and oversaw Bill Cunningham's national daytime TV talk show on the CW.
Here's the release:
CINCINNATI USA SPORTS COMMISSION EXPLORING PLANS FOR NEW COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL GAME TO AIR EXCLUSIVELY ON THE CW NETWORK
Cincinnati Chili Bowl Would Be Held at TQL Stadium
December 29, 2022 (Cincinnati, OH) — The board of the Cincinnati USA Sports Commission announced today that it is exploring a new college football bowl game to be held at TQL Stadium that would air exclusively on The CW Network once the event meets official approval.
Called the Cincinnati Chili Bowl, the new event will feature two Division I conferences where two of their Bowl eligible teams will be invited to play in the December postseason game. Discussions with conferences are underway. Pending official approval, the three-hour telecast would air on The CW Network and would be available in 100+ million homes across America.
Officials from the Cincinnati USA Sports Commission have studied best practices from college football games over the last year to ensure the following ideals: A professionally managed football game aired on national TV to promote the Cincinnati region, a fiscally responsible opportunity for the participating colleges, unique fan engagement events and an opportunity for the student athletes to network with area executives for future employment opportunities.
On the day after the Bowl Game, 30 regional corporate leaders will be invited to host the “Big Wigs Business Brunch” where student athletes from both schools can meet and network with business leaders to discuss employment opportunities.
Additionally, the Player Gifting Suite will be focused on professional attire and tools the student athletes can use for internships and employment.
The proceeds from the Cincinnati Chili Bowl will benefit the Cincinnati USA Sports Commission to be used in attracting new sporting events to the region to drive economic impact.
To that end, the Cincinnati Chili Bowl Champions—a collective of regional executives—will be invited to support the Bowl Game with a financial contribution, sponsorship opportunities and ticket purchases for the Bowl Game.
The feasibility study for the Cincinnati Chili Bowl will be led by Jackie Reau, CEO of Game Day, along with local businessmen Steven Young and John Schenk.
The financial support needed to move forward will include a mix of corporate sponsors, hospitality and ticket sales as well as local event tickets.
Initial fan engagement plans feature: Bourbon and craft beer tours, culinary tours, college marching band, cheer and dance team challenges, an esports tournament between the two schools and a fan fest.