It appears the SWAC Championship Game — as of now — will stick with its current on-campus format, says league Commissioner Charles McClelland.
Appearing as a guest on the HBCU Sports Podcast Tuesday, McClelland told host Kenn Rashad the present setup which allows schools with the overall best record to host the conference title game is expected to be mainstay amid the financial success of last season’s championship round.
Alcorn State — the game’s host — netted $500,000 in revenue, according to McClelland.
“It has raised the stakes. People play to have that game on campus,” he said. “When Alcorn played Jackson State, they had to win to host that game on its campus.”
Explaining that the SWAC office is always contemplating “innovate ways” to bring revenue to member institutions, McClelland admitted he’s open to overtures to move the game to a neutral site if, and only if, it makes financial sense.
“What I want to do is bring the maximum amount of revenue into our membership,” he said. “I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t put that as a priority.”
In determining the future of the championship game, the commissioner said he will take into consideration how any decision will impact fans, schools, and athletes in addition to revenue.
“We are going to do what makes financial sense to our membership and what makes financial sense to our fans and what makes it an enjoyable experience for our institutions and our fans,” said McClelland.
McClelland, the former athletic director at Texas Southern and Prairie View, acknowledged that the league is willing to listen to a third party if the offer is right.
“If someone offers us enough money to move we will definitely consider that,” he said. “Just know if we do move, we got more than a half-million dollars, that’s for sure.”
Added McClelland: “We’re not going to allow you to take money out of our mouths to generate money for you. Pay me what I’m worth then we can talk.”