Skip to content

Auburn ‘lost’ $600K on title-game trip

Tostitos BCS National Championship Game - Oregon v Auburn Getty Images

(Writer’s note: feel free to insert your own Cecil Newton one-liners liberally throughout this post as we will not be stooping to that level.  Thanks in advance for your understanding in this matter.)

Unless you’re Cecil Newton, it would be very hard to put a price on what Auburn’s run to the BcS title meant to the school, the football program and the fan base.  The Auburn athletic department, however, can put a price on what it cost for a trip to Glendale that ended with the hoisting of the crystal.

And they have.

Through an open-records request, the Birmingham News has learned that Auburn spent $2,901,706 for their football sojourn in the desert.  That total was offset by an expense allowance of $2,287,600 given to the school by the SEC, meaning that Auburn “lost” just a little over $614,000.

For comparison’s sake, the News writes, Oregon reported having a final deficit of $285,437 from its Pac-10 allowance of $2,263,295 over 10 days.  In other words, it “cost” Auburn in the neighborhood of $330,000 more than it did their title game opponents.

In reality, unsold tickets were the primary culprits in both schools being technically in the red.

The largest single-line expense item for both teams was unsold game tickets that get used for complimentary purposes to administrators, band members, cheerleaders and others.

Auburn absorbed a loss of $781,825 from 2,456 unsold tickets from its allotment of 17,400. Oregon lost $555,575 by withholding 1,761 of its 17,400 tickets.

Another factor in Auburn “losing” more money than Oregon was the size of the respective schools’ traveling parties.  Oregon brought 493 people to the event, while Auburn nearly doubled that number with 938.

Of course, all of this talk of either school losing money based on the bowl expense report is simply a matter of fiddling with an incomplete set of financial numbers, as noted by the News.

Additional bowl revenue the schools receive through their conferences is not included in the NCAA reports. Counting the BCS payout and other SEC bowl money, Auburn will more than come out ahead.

Here’s guessing that Auburn would’ve been more than willing to go even deeper in the red if it meant they were able to hoist that crystal in the end.

Permalink 16 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Auburn Tigers, Oregon Ducks, Pac-12 Conference, Rumor Mill, Southeastern Conference, Top Posts
16 Responses to “Auburn ‘lost’ $600K on title-game trip”
  1. southernpatriots says: Mar 3, 2011 8:12 PM

    Congratulations to Auburn again for their SEC and thus BCS National Championship. They showed all year, in every game, that they were champions. We are sure they are not at all objecting to the loss of almost $800,000. We are sure they will make that up with added merchandise sales and other economic benefits as a result of the championship. This past year it is estimated that the football program at Auburn had in total revenue $66 million and a profit of $38 million. That is really good and should give them cause not to be much concerned about the deficit they ran on the big game. We know alot of teams around the U.S. would gladly give up $900 grand to gain a national championship. Once again Congrats Auburn! Once the season starts we will hopefully be vying for what you won last year! Geaux Tigers!

  2. gatiger says: Mar 3, 2011 8:25 PM

    Ok, I totally do not understand the “unused” tickets. I paid a small fortune for my tickets..totally worth it, but there were literally thousands of Auburn Folks there trying to find tickets. There was supposedly 20,000+ Auburn fans in the overflow watching it on a big screen.

    If they had made those tickets available, they would have sold in seconds.

  3. makimaguro says: Mar 3, 2011 8:29 PM

    Wonder if those figures include coaching staff bonuses? Bet not. Number would shoot way up.

    Southernpatriots: Now if your football players could only spell as good as you maybe you could have even more to be proud of.

  4. southernpatriots says: Mar 3, 2011 8:53 PM

    makimaguro: It is not too much our spelling that concerns us, it is our typing. We learned typing very late in life and it is a struggle most of the time. We don’t think those figures include coaching staff bonuses. Those bonuses, like the salaries, would come from the football revenues of $66 million. Maybe the bonuses lowered the profit a mil or two. Coach Miles has those “performance incentive bonuses” (in his new extended contract at the same salary) so we hope he can collect on them this year!

    gatiger: LSU released the extra tickets they did not use for the last BCS national championship game and several of our friends purchased some. It is a shame that Auburn did not do the same.

  5. 1990tiger says: Mar 3, 2011 8:53 PM

    JT are you mistakenly using the terms “unsold” and “unused” interchangeably in this article? I can understand how some tickets would have been “unsold” in that they were given away by the schools (to the band, cheerleaders, administrators, etc.) but if either school possessed tickets that went “unused”, that doesn’t seem to make sense since tickets were extremely hard to find.

    With tickets going for $2K – 4K each during the week before the game, I sure would have loved to have gotten my hands on those “unused” tickets.

  6. southernpatriots says: Mar 3, 2011 9:06 PM

    JT: “Writer’s note: feel free to insert your own Cecil Newton one-liners liberally throughout this post as we will not be stooping to that level. Thanks in advance for your understanding in this matter.) Unless you’re Cecil Newton, it would be very hard to put a price on what Auburn’s run to the BcS title meant” ….isn’t the last sentence a one-liner? maybe a longer line but we think it qualifies….ha!

  7. John Taylor says: Mar 3, 2011 9:23 PM

    @1990tiger: excellent catch. It’s fixed.

    Thank you very much for the heads-up.

  8. John Taylor says: Mar 3, 2011 9:25 PM

    @southpats (may I shorten it to southpats?): just having a little fun amusing myself on a relatively slow, craptastic day. ;-)

  9. frug says: Mar 3, 2011 11:44 PM

    What this doesn’t include this the millions of dollars Auburn made on merchandising rights first qualifying for the game (and selling a bunch of BCS Championship shirts) and then winning it (and selling even more National Champs shirts).

  10. southernpatriots says: Mar 3, 2011 11:57 PM

    JT: We thought so. We chuckled and laughed, especially when we read what you wrote the second time (sometimes we are slow on the uptake? ha.)…we are more than half serious when we say, we hope that Coach Miles (and of course his staff) can collect on the “performance incentive bonuses” this year. I think they’ll make that back just on the trinkets myself and my extended family will buy! We do have to get some better news soon. Maybe put a bug in the NCAA…hmm!

  11. gatiger says: Mar 4, 2011 7:04 AM

    1990tiger made an excellent point. Article did not say that they were unused. Place was pretty darn packed.

    Guessing those tickets were “freebies” for donors who give a ba-jillion $’s. Sure it was the same for Oregon. Bet that Nike guy didn’t have to buy his own ticket.

    As long as the tickets were used.

    ps If you picked up a copy of the Arizona Republic the next day, my picture was on the Front Page!

  12. gamecockinfl says: Mar 4, 2011 9:00 AM

    Stupid article. You said yourself “Auburn will more than came out ahead”. Ridiculous amounts of money being wasted in college athletics is nothing new. No news here.

  13. tigersgeaux says: Mar 4, 2011 9:25 AM

    taking up from the last posting of southernpatriots, LSU made about $43 million in profit from their football program last year, this year may even be more. We hope some of that profit is reduced by the bonuses given to Coach Miles and his staff for winning the SEC West, The SEC championship and the BCS championship, and while we are being very optimistic winning 12 games and losing none. I can see that profit being reduced by a couple of million or so. Tigersgeaux!

  14. lucky5927 says: Mar 4, 2011 11:33 AM

    Uh-oh, time to set the “Cam/Cecil Newton Financial Joke” Meter back to zero. And to think we almost made it 3 whole days.

  15. thompgk says: Mar 4, 2011 11:37 AM

    Those “unsold” tickets include tickets for band members, player family members, jock sniffers, and former players whose presence around Scottsdale helped boost the local bars revenue.

  16. overratedgators says: Mar 4, 2011 6:39 PM

    Every time I read one of Southernpatriots posts in the First Person Plural, I can’t help but think of Gollum.

    “We loves the precioussss…”

    (And Southernpatriots, I know you’re actually writing on behalf of yourself and others. It just always catches me off guard. No offense intended.)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!