Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bowling for Dollars...Not Always

According to figures obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The University of Georgia spent around $2.2 million during the week long Sugar Bowl experience. Livin' large in New Orleans - Party on Garth! However, these expenses will be absorbed by the $10+ million UGA will receive as its share of the SEC revenue distribution payments. Now don't think that Mark Richt's Dawgs ran up this huge tab by themselves. Oh no, they had the assistance of an almost 750 member traveling party. The Redcoat Band, the Cheerleaders and the 'President's Party'.
And to put this in proper perspective, the Florida Gators and The Ohio State Buckeyes combined for $5+ million in expenses for their match-up in the 2007 BCS Championship. Florida's traveling party totaled 771 revelers. For BCS schools, just like the 3 mentioned above, revenue sharing agreements ease the crunch of these huge expenses. However, nearly half of the schools who compete in bowls lose money. And it isn't just because of expenses like those mentioned already. Most bowl agreements require schools to buy tickets to resell to their fan base. Many schools, particularly those playing in non-BCS games, end up losing thousands of dollars in unsold tickets. Hotel costs and lengths of stay are many times pre-set and are non-negotiable. Schools routinely absorb the loss of unused hotel room nights. But don't despair... two new bowls have been created for this post season, giving four teams with mediocre records the opportunity to cost their athletic departments thousands of dollars! And all the while, the hosting sites continue to profit from college football and the tremendous fans who love to follow their teams and see them play. And to party, and to party, and to party. For all that fun, what's a few dollars lost here and there? Come on, let's go bowling!

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