FRANKLIN — Since the organization’s creation in 1978, the bottom line for the MIAA has always been about two things: matchups and weather. At yesterday’s meeting of the Football Committee each was blamed for a sizeable financial hit to end the fall season.
With snow on both the Tuesday semifinals and Super Bowl Saturday, attendance overall was down from 59,968 in 2011 to 49,939 in 2012. The numbers led to another bleak figure, a net loss of $100,000 compared to the previous year for the MIAA.
“We got unlucky with the weather,” said assistant director Peter Smith. “We see each year that weather and matchups drive our finances.”
EMass tournament director Jim O’Connor put it another way: “We took kind of a beating as far as attendance goes.”
Attendance at Gillette was especially bad with just 13,289 in Foxborough for the six games, down approximately 5,000 from 2011. Part of the reason was the weather and partly because of the matchups, which did not include the Division 1 game between Brockton and St. John’s Prep, which was held at Bentley University.
The meeting started with Wilmington’s coach, athletic director, and principal protesting the school’s move from Division 3 Northwest to Northeast by the Football Committee. It was the second time Wilmington had changed sectionals during the appeals process. Last month, Wilmington asked to be moved. This second move was a surprise.
“When we won the appeal the first time I thought we were done,” said athletic director Ed Harrison.
The committee took no action and Wilmington will remain in Division 3 Northeast for the next two years.
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