Red Carpet Bowl a success despite heat, organizers contend

Published 10:58 am Friday, September 5, 2014

A third game each and every year in the annual Red Carpet Bowl Classic is certainly welcome, but could become more expensive to stage, organizers said Wednesday.

Gate receipts reached about $12,000 for the trio of games Aug. 22, RCB treasurer Lester Tzotzolas said, adding the committee incurred additional expense this year, mainly in the form of extra security and an extra game’s worth of meals for players. Confirmation of the receipts came after chairman David Boolos addressed the Vicksburg Lions Club earlier in the day. Tzotzolas said support based on the $15 ticket price broke roughly even.

The series established in 1962 began this year with a mid-afternoon tilt between Porters Chapel Academy and Farmerville, La.-based Union Christian Academy. Temperatures at kickoff were around 95 degrees, with typical late-August humidity pushing heat indexes past 100. Warren Central and Vicksburg played the middle and late games, respectively.

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The concept of an afternoon game wasn’t new, as St. Aloysius had played the early slot five straight times in the classic’s early years. Boolos said heat played a factor in the loss of the early game back then. No decision from PCA to play in next year’s RCB is expected until January, at the earliest. Boolos said another mid-afternoon kickoff depends on the schools’ desire to commit to the time slot, the effects of redistricting next year by the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools and the Mississippi High School Athletics Association, and, perhaps, the committee’s finances, he said.

“Neither one of those schools are very big, maybe a couple hundred kids,” Boolos said. “So, you’re not going to get a lot of people (in attendance). I’m sure we lost money by the time we paid officials and paid everybody for what they had to do. But, we’re glad to have them.”

“They were excited to be there, but they might not be as excited after they played that game. I wouldn’t blame them if they didn’t want to do it again.”

Misting fans and other cooling devices used by Vicksburg and Warren Central’s respective football teams were bought with RCB committee money, Boolos said. PCA had no devices available to cool players during its game against Union Christian. Interest in playing an early game in the future could prompt the committee to pay for at least one misting fan, Boolos said.

“We may have to buy some fans if they commit to 3 o’clock,” he said in response to a question on the topic.

High-output misting systems used in college and pro football can retail for up to $2,000 or more, depending on size and other variables.

Boolos said the RCB’s 29 sponsors kicked in $22,000 this year, Boolos said, with about $11,000 of it spent on T-shirts. Specifics on attendance weren’t available, Boolos said, but visceral reviews by organizers indicated it was up a little this year.

“It was higher this year than it had been over the past few years,” Boolos said. “It’s always depends on how our teams are doing.”