Inclement weather shuts down bowl game that Dallas paid oodles for
A bowl game that cost Dallas taxpayers a bundle got canceled due to inclement weather.
The Servpro First Responder Bowl, taking place on December 26 at Cotton Bowl Stadium, was suspended due to lightning during the first quarter at 12:59 pm, then finally canceled at 2:20 pm.
"In the interest of safety for our teams and fans, the 2018 Servpro First Responder Bowl was unable to be continued," said executive director Brant Ringler in a statement. "The decision was made after lengthy consultation with emergency personnel, both universities, ESPN, and Cotton Bowl Stadium staff."
The game was between the Boston College Eagles and the Boise State Broncos. It has officially been ruled a no-contest.
In September, the Dallas City Council approved a $300,000 payment to ESPN for two years of the game, which has been played on the day after Christmas since 2012. So that's $150,000 down the toilet.
Voting in favor of squandering taxpayer money on the game were Rick Callahan, Tennell Atkins, Mayor Mike Rawlings, Adam McGough, Casey Thomas, Jennifer Staubach Gates, and Mark Clayton.
Atkins said that "It will showcase the city of Dallas, that we are looking out for our first responders," and Rawlings tweeted that "in Dallas, we love football and we love our first responders" — despite the fact that no first responders benefited from the game in any way.
In response to the cancellation, City Council member Scott Griggs said, "I hope City of Dallas taxpayers get a refund from ESPN and Walt Disney. And I wish the City Council would get taxpayers out of the day-after-Christmas-low-tier bowl game business. $30,000/minute is a little expensive."
But according to Willis Winters, director of Dallas' Park and Recreation Department, the city will not get a refund.
A VP for ESPN said that safety was their primary concern in calling the game.
"After more than an hour since stoppage of play, and with review of the active lightning and thunderstorm cells still in the area of the Cotton Bowl, it was determined that the game should be called," said Pete Derzis. "All parties were concerned about player safety first and foremost, and with that being the primary concern, as well as the fans in attendance, it was a unanimous decision to cancel the game."