Mega Conferences for Mega Regions Anyone?



  • I was reading about Mega Regions, a new regional economic unit used by Regional Planning Association (RPA) planners to describe the emerging new economic units for the rest of this century.

    The USA has 11 mega regions. Here is a map of them.

    MapofEmergingUSMegaregions.png

    The basic idea are that these mega regions hold the vast majority of jobs, firms, housing, commericial property, in USA and for planning purposes straddle existing civil divisions like cities, counties, states and countries. Mega regions are not just a phenomenon of USA, but they are emerging around the world.

    The thinking is that over time these mega regions will tend to grow into more and more integrated economic units and will have regional planning authorities guiding them more and more.

    It is interesting to see that while the state of Kansas is considered a fly over state and a low population, largely agricultural state, and Kansas City has tended to be considered a small media market and a medium sized metropolitan area, in the realm of mega regions, Kansas City and its metropolitan statistical area are considered part of the Great Lakes Mega Region. This is significant, because the Great Lakes Mega Region with 53 Million persons is the largest mega region in USA just slightly larger than the Northeast Mega Region.

    Think about this for a second. Down stream, as this mega region grows together still more it is likely to become under certain scenarios the MOST dominant regional economic unit in North America. It has the water It has the land. And it has the food. And it has the energy and natural resources needed to super nova, if USA and the North American Security and Prosperity Partnership were put back on a greater “domestic” and hemispheric production and consumption basis; i.e., if jobs and firms were brought back from Asia over a sustained period of time, and if America were to be put back on a more domestic energy emphasis, all of which seems in the very nascent stages of being moved toward.

    So, what would television markets begin to look in such a mega regional perspective? Well, this Great Lakes Mega region is already the biggest single mega region TV market and it straddles the EST and CST. And KU in Lawrence inside the Kansas City sub region is a member.

    Today, our conferences are largely aligned along energy, water, and other voting blocks of state-Federal based political economy.

    What if the state-Federal based political economy receded in importance due to budgetary constraints and into that vacuum came the mega region planning authorities as the more basic building blocks of regional economy?

    What if a conference of schools were established to comprise the Great Lakes Mega Region universities? Call it the Great Lakes Mega Conference. It could include the Big Ten, the northern Division of the Big 12, Elements of the Missouri Valley, Canadian Universities like McGill, the Ohio Valley Conference, northern SEC conference schools, and so on. Would this be a great football and basketball and hockey conference or what!!! And it would be the biggest, richest conference with the arguably the biggest TV/internet revenues.

    KU would go from laboring in Big 12 national anonymity, from being in the fifth power conference to be in the first Mega Regional Conference.

    This is the likely future of sports and sports television and sports conferences, people, not a merger of the SEC and the Big 12.

    Not talkin’ 'bout conference realignment.

    Talkin’ 'bout conference reorganization!!!


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