Monday, January 4, 2010

NCAA Football Bowl Finances

In case you are unaware, Iowa plays Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl on Tuesday. While I am waiting to root on the Hawkeyes, I thought that I would look into the economic side of college football bowls. Much of the following details come from the NCAA's webpage devoted to college football bowl revenues and expenses.

For those that are interested in the complete details, here are some links for BCS bowl revenues from 2004/05 to 2008/09, non-BCS bowl revenues from 2004/05 to 2008/09, and both BCS and non-BCS bowl total expenses. From the accounting information, we see that for 2008-09 BCS bowls generated approximately $125.5 million and non-BCS bowls generated over $22.5 million. Remember that there are a total of 34 college bowls, five BCS bowls (Fiesta, Sugar, Orange, Rose and Championship game) for 10 teams in BCS bowl games and 29 other bowl games for 58 teams in non-BCS bowl games. Thus the average bowl profit for the BCS teams is $12.5 million and non-BCS bowl teams is about $0.39 million.

But not all teams are average on the field or in their financial's. USA Today reported about a decade ago on the negative financial impact that a college bowl game can put on NCAA schools. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported last month that much of the same continues for many colleges. The major financial hurdle is the amount of tickets that schools have to sell in order to go to the bowl, and that many schools are unable to get that many tickets sold, which puts many schools in the red financially.

Additionally, not going to a bowl game may be more profitable than actually going, such as in the Big 10, which divides that profits among all eleven teams.

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