FRANKLIN — Since the organization’s creation in 1978, the bottom line for the MIAA has always been about two things: matchups and weather. At Tuesday’s meeting of the Football Committee, each was blamed for a sizable 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 with 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 Stadium was especially bad with just 13,289 in Foxborough for the six games, down approximately 5,000 from 2012. Part of the reason was the weather, part was the matchups, which included the absence of the Division 1 game between Brockton and St. John’s Prep, 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. It had asked for the first move. The second 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.