A Bowl Game Could Be Heading To A New City After 2018

first_imgThe Texas Longhorns cheerleaders holding Texas flags.DALLAS – OCTOBER 7: Flagbearers wave the Burnt Orange and White flags of the Texas Longhorns in the Texas endzone before the game against the Oklahoma Sooners during the Red River Shootout at the Cotton Bowl on October 7, 2006 in Dallas, Texas. The Longhorns won 28-10. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Every year, we see some changes to the bowl schedule. After this year, the Heart of Dallas Bowl may have to head to the heart of another city.The game, played at the Cotton Bowl, is coming off of one of its more sad match-ups.On paper, it looked like a potentially fun game. The 2017 edition of the Heart of Dallas Bowl pit Utah against West Virginia, two solid Power Five programs.However, the day after Christmas was a poor weather day in Dallas, neither fan base is very local or was enthused for the trip, and as a result, attendance was incredibly sparse.Fans didn’t exactly flock to the Cotton Bowl to see Utah and West Virginia pic.twitter.com/Z1N3YjcbSC— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) December 26, 2017More first half shots from the #HeartofDallasBowl. #BowlSeason (https://t.co/WQVNZwgbgt + https://t.co/rTZFYCdIfw) pic.twitter.com/Bx4dAvCrI8— Empty Seats Galore (@EmptySeatsPics) December 26, 2017Attendance for the game was listed at over 20,500. That’s a bad look for the 92,000-seat stadium, and based on the actual photos, the number was definitely much lower in reality.Now, the future of the Heart of Dallas Bowl is in serious jeopardy.The city nearly voted against paying ESPN to host the game. The decision was punted, but this could be the last year that the bowl game is in Dallas.As Dallas Morning News columnist Robert Wilonsky reports, the city council nearly voted against renewing a deal this morning, instead electing to punt the decision to September.A deal would mean $300,000 to ESPN, a number at which it sounds like the majority of the council has balked. If the city elects to lose the game, it could move down I35 to Austin.Monica Paul, executive director of the Dallas Sports Commission, said she has been talking with ESPN about getting better teams in the future — which would mean higher attendance and better ratings. But she said in an interview she’s concerned that if the council votes against the incentive, ESPN will simply take the game elsewhere — like Austin, which wants a bowl game.The Heart of Dallas Bowl is the only bowl in Dallas proper, but the area has a few other existing games. The Cotton Bowl Classic is now played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, while nearby Fort Worth (Armed Forces Bowl), and Frisco Frisco Bowl) also host games.[Dallas Morning News]last_img read more

Canada Japan at odds over BC timber in TPP trade talks documents

OTTAWA — One of Canada’s most protected industries — British Columbia timber — has been targeted by Japan in the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks, The Canadian Press has learned.Japan is pushing Canada to eliminate or modify the controls it imposes on B.C. log exports — a practice that is heavily restricted by the federal and provincial governments, and which drives up their cost to foreign buyers.Details of the forestry impasse with Japan are contained in documents from Canada’s Foreign Affairs department that are marked “secret” and that have been obtained by The Canadian Press.The revelation comes as Canada continues to face pressure from another TPP country — the United States — which has taken aim at the coveted supply management system that protects the country’s dairy and poultry farmers.Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said that Canada would protect its supply management system while pushing ahead with the TPP because he sees that as vital of the country’s future economic health.With the October election looming, the trade impasses have implications for Harper. He has invested much political capital in various free trade talks — none bigger than the TPP — as he positions himself as the most reliable steward of the Canadian economy.But Canada has another fight on its hands with Japan over B.C. forestry, as it tries to break down trade barriers in that sector in Asia.“Canada is pursuing full tariff elimination for the forestry sector — as you know, tariffs in Malaysia are as high as 40 per cent, as high as 31 per cent in Vietnam and as high as 10 per cent in Japan,” says the April briefing note, prepared for a meeting of senior federal trade officials in Ottawa and their provincial counterparts in B.C.Japan-Canada trade talks have stalled with no meetings in sightTransPacific Partnership trade deal hopes brighten as Stephen Harper, other leaders break logjamsThe memo says talks with Malaysia and Vietnam are progressing well. Not so with Japan, Canada’s largest Asian trading partner.“Discussions with Japan are ongoing but have been difficult. Japan has very clearly linked the elimination of forestry tariffs to B.C. eliminating or significantly modifying log export controls,” the memo says. “Our efforts to delink the two continue but are becoming increasingly difficult.”B.C. exports a small percentage of its logs to foreign markets, including Japan, but must satisfy some strict provincial and federal requirements.According to one study last year by the Fraser Institute, the result of that protection scheme is that in 2011, logs sold for $74 per cubic metre on the Vancouver Log Market, while the average price for exports hovered around $108.“Although free trade in logs in not the preferred policy from a B.C. perspective, it certainly is from a global perspective,” says the institute’s June 2014 report on B.C. log policy.“Canada is currently in talks to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which includes Japan,” the report adds. “It is possible that removing all restrictions on log exports as part of a trade agreement could leverage concessions of a similar size that would benefit British Columbia and Canada.”The report proved prescient, given what is contained in the government’s own April memo, which makes clear there’s serious negotiating taking place between Japan and Canada on forestry issues.“There have been some suggestions from your officials that Canada settle for no tariff reductions from Japan on forestry products in order to protect our log export control regime,” the memo says.“This is not an acceptable outcome for Canada; it would put our competitors at a permanent advantage in the Japanese market for one of our primary exports.”A government spokesman declined comment on what has happened at the negotiating table since April.With the U.S. Congress recently granting President Barack Obama fast-track authority to negotiate the TPP, there is widespread speculation that the deal could be finalized as early as August.However, the deal will have serious domestic political implications for Harper as he seeks his fourth term as prime minister.Supply management is sacrosanct in Ontario and Quebec, and so is the forestry sector in B.C.The 12 countries in the TPP, including Canada, are Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the U.S. and Vietnam, and they represent 792 million people with a combined GDP of $28.1 trillion. read more