BCS Expense Report Data (56 Schools)

Submitted by kvnryn on May 17th, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Main post here, and an equally interesting story about the runaround required to get the reports from some of the schools here.

Not a ton of surprises if you've been following this narrative over the past couple of years, but it's interesting nonetheless.

The only thing that's really Michigan-specific is that the athletic department ate the cost of over 7K tickets for the Gator Bowl...all that does is prove how prescient our fans are. Unfortunately I was not one of them. I think individual school reports are going to be released later on.




May 17th, 2011 at 12:50 PM ^

Alabama received criticism for the upgrades after it was revealed the team was recruiting linebacker Brent Calloway and running back Demetrius Hart from the school, two players it eventually signed.

A friendly reminder of the one that got away.

But thanks for posting, it's an interesting read.

Zone Left

May 17th, 2011 at 1:09 PM ^

You've got to remember, the contracts for the bowl games stipulate that schools sell a certain block of tickets at a certain price. Unfortunately for the schools, the bowls also sell tickets to other brokers at a price the market will actually bear. For the BCS title game, those tickets will probably be much more expensive than the school price. For just about every other game, the tickets will be a lot cheaper if they aren't purchased through the university.

I've said this a bunch, but the power conferences and Big 10 and SEC especially shouldn't be accepting these deals from the bowl games. If they want ratings and high attendance games, getting a high pick of Big 10 teams will get you that. The bowls can coerce the Sun Belt if they want, but the Big 10 can say no and still get the pick of bowl games. After all, the participants make the game, not the other way around.


May 17th, 2011 at 2:02 PM ^

The NCAA allows $500 in gifts for 125 participants on each side ($125k). Those 7,000 tickets were probably in the 100-150 range, so assuming 3,500 $100 tickets and 3,500 $150 tickets, that's $875,000 in "absorbed tickets" compared to a payout of $125k to the participants. Also, MSU (NTMSU) probably had unsold seats as well.

Edit: Even going with Iowa's Insight Bowl numbers, which averaged $65.60 per absorbed ticket, would put the bowl profits at ~$460k, or over triple the amount payed out to M and Miss. State athletes combined.

Zone Left

May 17th, 2011 at 2:48 PM ^

The ticket blocks are in theory designed to provide easy access to the school's fan base, which made sense in 1985, but doesn't today. They're a holdover that the bowls use to pad their profits in the case of the big games/help the game break even in the case of the mid-December games. Either way, the Big 10 and SEC don't need to accept those terms when negotiating bowl tie-ins. They have the clout with their fan bases to dare the bowls to find a more lucrative conference. After all, what game are most people going to watch, Big 10 #2 vs SEC #3 in the GMAC Bowl or Big East #2 vs ACC #3 in the Citrus? I seriously doubt the second option is more lucrative for the bowl, even with ticket guarantees.


May 17th, 2011 at 2:53 PM ^

It kind of makes sense so that you have a section of fans that root for one team and another section that roots for the other.  It might also help in cutting down on the number of fights and stuff.  But to make schools buy the tickets kind of doesn't make sense.

Zone Left

May 17th, 2011 at 3:07 PM ^

Yeah, but you could have a picture on the game's website that shows a section for team A and a section for team B that accomplishes the same thing. It's not like a fan from school B couldn't buy a ticket from school A if there wasn't much demand. Regardless, I think it's a holdover that hasn't gone out of style yet.


May 17th, 2011 at 5:42 PM ^

I'm not very knowledable of the management structure of the BCS, but just looking at the outcome the bowl hosts seem to have the better end of the agreement (financially). I'm not sure when the contracts would be up for negotiation, but it certainly wouldn't be unprecedented for one party (in this case the schools) demand renegotiation based on unfairness. Yes I know that the schools only have themselves to blame if they agreed to the terms in the first place but in my opinion it shouldn't stop them from trying to perhaps work something out through arbitration. The whole system feels like a house of cards to some extent anyways... not sustainable if for no other reason than eventually the public outcry will demand changes (at least I hope the public will get sick of stupid meaningless bowl games).

TL;DR: Just because the schools got themselves into this mess doesn't mean there aren't options to fix it... I think they have enough leverage to do so.


May 17th, 2011 at 2:30 PM ^

The only people really benefitting from the bowl games financially are the robber barons who run them.  The BCS is in trouble just as much for the sorry financial arrangements with the smaller games as the bigger ones.  

I have said before a playoff is inevitable because of the money. But if the Big conferences want to stave that off for a few years and keep their greed monopoly, they need to lay out rules for the non BCS bowls that guarantee that all the schools that participate come home with an actual and not paper profit.  

The tremendous financial losses schools suffer to play in low grade bowl games are a principle factor in getting lawmakers sniffing around the entire system.