Auburn may have won their first national title in over 50 years, but financially speaking, the program lost $614,106 during their nine-day trip to Glendale, Arizona. During the BCS Championship festivities, Auburn spent a grand total of $2,901,706 for team travel, meals, tickets, entertainment, awards, promotion, equipment and lodging, well above their allotment of $2,263,295. At first glance, it seems as though Auburn’s trip was not financially sound, but in the end, the university actually made millions.
According to published records, the single biggest expense for Auburn was unsold game tickets. Auburn was allotted 17,400 tickets for the championship game. Auburn aggressively marketed ticket sales, but prior to the game, Auburn was holding 2,456 unsold tickets valued at $781,825–more than enough to cover the $614,106 deficit. It’s no surprise the tickets wouldn’t sell out. It doesn’t take an economist to deduce that that the university will not sellout of football tickets with face-value prices ranging from $200 to $325 a piece to financially challenged college students.
Though it appears the lack of ticket sales put Auburn in the red, the university actually made millions from the team’s national championship victory because of unparalleled licensing and merchandising agreements and collected revenue generated from SEC bowl play.
So on its face, the school may report a loss in revenue for the actual trip, but in the end, the program’s BCS national championship victory was a financial windfall.
This post originally appeared at TheMatadorSports.
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