College Bowls not the big payday universities may expect


Virginia Tech is one of the premier football programs in the Atlantic Coast Conference. They have a loyal fan base and play in a BCS conference, they usually have double digit wins and have been bowl eligible as long as BCS system has existed. So a berth in the Orange Bowl in Miami should provide a cash windfall for the Hokies. Right? Not quite.

Last year, Virginia Tech earned a berth in the Orange Bowl and was required to buy 17,500 tickets at $125 each. It only sold 3,342 of them, leading to a loss of $1.77 million for the university and the Atlantic Coast Conference, records show.

A Hokies athletics official speculated the reason for the weak sales was the weak economy, the expensive trip to Miami and cheaper tickets available to fans on the Internet. “Many Hokie fans bought that way rather than through our ticket office,” Assistant Athletic Director Lisa Rudd said.

Virginia Tech’s expense allowance for the game from the ACC was $1.6 million, but its ticket losses led it to spend more than double that at $3.8 million. The Hokies beat Cincinnati in the game, 20-7.

via Costly kick in the teeth to bowl teams – Sports –

The five major bowls basically support every one of the other 29 meaningless bowls that fill late December and early January TV schedules. Your prize for not being one of the top 10 teams? As a university, you may or may not break even by allowing your football team to participate in a bowl. The bowl games, which are registered as non-profit entities with the IRS, cover their costs with the ticket guarantee and TV ad revenues. I wonder how this compares to the Football Championship Division (formerly I-AA) and D-III playoff model.