A day after the BCS bowl selections, schools begin selling their allotment of tickets and fans make plans to attend the game. However, it has been proven that many public Universities absorb financial losses to send their team to the bowl game. When a team is chosen to attend a BCS game, the school is required to purchase a block of tickets and pay for the hotel rooms that the bowl arranged. This requirement presents two big issues. Firstly, not all schools can sell their allotment of tickets. The school is required to pay for the tickets that it’s fanbase doesn’t purchase. Secondly, the hotel and the duration of the stay is decided by the bowl. This means a school can’t save on their trip by choosing a cheap hotel and shortening their stay. Conferences will allot a certain amount of money to any team that gets chosen to attend a BCS bowl game. Even with the help, schools can still lose a substantial amount of money.
For example, UConn lost $1.7 million in it’s trip to the 2011 Fiesta Bowl. It couldn’t sell 14,729 of it’s 17,500 tickets (http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/09/26/20110926bcs-bowl-games-teams-lose-money.html). This lack of ticket sales cost the school $2.9 million dollars. However, schools will recoup some of their losses in the coming years. The BCS pays the conferences of the teams that play in their bowl games, and then later the conferences will be able to pay it’s schools more money. But the problem is still evident that schools are forced to take on huge financial losses after athletic success. Is this fair to all eligible schools?
Ticket sales are entirely dependent on a school’s fans, alumni, and students. As fanbases vary from school to school, ticket sales will also vary. Although it’s conference made significant contributions, Boise State was able to sell most of it’s tickets in both of it’s trips to BCS bowl games which helped Boise State earn over a million dollars each trip. Boise State was able to earn national recognition for their good season and also made money by making it to a BCS game. UConn lost money and didn’t come close to winning their most recent BCS game.
What are viable solutions to make sure teams don’t have to lose money after a successful season? Some teams that make a BCS bowl will earn money while others lose a substantial amount of money. In trying to make programs equal, programs shouldn’t be penalized if their fans can’t attend the game. But who should shoulder the burden of selling tickets, the bowl or the teams playing? It’s a tough situation, which leaves some teams in the red after having a successful football season.