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ACC title game cost ‘Noles nearly $500k

ACC Championship - Florida State v Georgia Tech Getty Images

Florida State may have claimed its first ACC title in a decade last season, but it came with a hit to the athletic department’s bottom line.

According to a very detailed and excellent report from WarChant.com with information gleaned through a public records request, FSU suffered a net loss of nearly $480,000 for their appearance in the ACC championship game against Georgia Tech.  Specifically, the school’s income statement shows a net loss of $478,964.20 as a result of the trip to Charlotte.

The vast majority of the financial loss incurred by FSU — in the neighborhood — stemmed from ticket sales, or lack thereof.  The ACC gave both participants in the title game 10,000 tickets; FSU was only able to sell just over 2,000 of them, thanks in large part to the matchup against the 6-6 Yellow Jackets.  While the conference helped absorb some of the financial burden, it wasn’t nearly enough as the website explained:

The form shows that Florida State was 100 percent responsible for selling the first 6,000 tickets. The ACC then covered 50 percent of the expense for the first 1,000 unsold tickets after 6,000, 75 percent of the next 1,000 tickets and 100 percent of the final 2,000 unsold tickets.

All told, the face value of the 10,000 allotted tickets was $774,190. After FSU’s $185,210 in revenue on the 2,033 tickets sold, $3,594 in various ticket fees and the ACC’s assistance on the final 4,000 unsold tickets ($144,895), FSU was left with a $440,491 loss on tickets. The net loss for the trip was $478,954.20.

The game wasn’t just a tough sell on FSU’s end, either, as the game was far from a sellout, with the website noting that “Bank of America Stadium never reached half-capacity during FSU’s 21-15 win” despite an announced crowd of over 64,000.

In response to the financial dousing taken by FSU — we’ve reached out to Tech officials for some confirmation as to how they fared fiscally — a conference spokesperson told the Rivals site “that ACC commissioner John Swofford has already initiated internal talks about a plan to assure that no school participating in the league’s championship game suffer any financial loss because of an appearance.”

As well they should.  The only loss a team playing in a conference’s championship game should suffer is on the field, not to the athletic department’s bottom line.  Especially when over 90 percent of that loss was due to unsold tickets that shouldn’t

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30 Responses to “ACC title game cost ‘Noles nearly $500k”
  1. netbros says: Feb 16, 2013 12:53 PM

    The ACC should play next year’s game in Orlando so they’re closer to Mickey Mouse.

  2. canetic says: Feb 16, 2013 1:16 PM

    Another reason skipping that game was a brilliant move by Miami. Appease the NCAA and screw the Seminoles all in one shot!

  3. raysfan1 says: Feb 16, 2013 1:42 PM

    The game really ought to be played at the home field of the highest ranking team. That would solve the ticket issue. Then just ensure the visiting team is financially rewarded appropriately.

  4. alligatorsnapper says: Feb 16, 2013 1:49 PM

    This crooked policy of requiring participating schools with teams in respective bowl games, and in the ACC championship and other games to “purchase” tickets and then if the cannot sell those tickets and recoop their money, they are out of their money is a subtle and sometimes flagrant form of extortion.

    The schools are so glad to be invited to the bowl, or in this case, qualify for the ACC championship game, that they go along with whatever conditions the bowl committee or league puts on them. They should start saying, “No!”

  5. irishdodger says: Feb 16, 2013 1:54 PM

    Get rid of conference championship games…they’re a joke more often than not. Make every team play at least 9 conference games. If these BCS conferences are intent on being Super Conferences, the least they can do is ensure each member plays 9 of their conference partners. Fans far prefer the bowl game to a Conference Chamionship Game. The ONLY reason conferences instituted them was as a money grab.

  6. cometkazie says: Feb 16, 2013 2:21 PM

    Just say “No!”

  7. necr0philia says: Feb 16, 2013 2:39 PM

    And the FSU fans laugh at Miami fans for not selling out regular season games. How many undergrads at FSU? Miami less than 10,000. Think about that.

  8. drummerhoff says: Feb 16, 2013 3:26 PM

    ” a plan to assure that no school participating in the league’s championship game suffer any financial loss because of an appearance.”

    This is the reason the ACC has the smallest TV deal.

  9. normtide says: Feb 16, 2013 3:33 PM

    An Irish fan should not make suggestions about the number of league games. Or CCGs.

  10. kwgator says: Feb 16, 2013 3:33 PM

    The Bowls suck …. We need a 16 Team Playoff

  11. bunyanj says: Feb 16, 2013 4:17 PM

    Let’s be realistic. The ACC schools don’t support football with the number of season ticket holders that would ensure selling 20,000 tickets for a game being played hundreds of miles from their campus. The conference boasts 2 conference schools with stadiums with capacaties in the 30K+ range, 1 with 40K+, 3 with 50K+ and 3 at 60K+. Clemson FSU and Miami have stadiums that can hold big crowds, but Miami might as well have one of those 40K facilities. The point here is that it is unreasonable to expect schools that don’t support their teams year in and year out at home, to have their fans jump at the opportunity to buy $75 tickets for a game being played 400 or 500 miles, or more, away.

    Playing the game at an on campus stadium might solve the ticket problem; but it would introduce a significant disadvantage for the visiting team.

    The answer is tough because the conference will never give up the TV money.

  12. jagtiger says: Feb 16, 2013 4:26 PM

    Just a bunch of mediocre football teams in a second rate conference!

  13. scalpemseminoles says: Feb 16, 2013 5:50 PM

    I’m really interested to see gt’s loss on theacccg

  14. thefiesty1 says: Feb 16, 2013 6:56 PM

    When you can’t sell your ticket allotment to a CCG then what doest that say about your team, the opponent and the conference? Maybe just skip it. 6-6 teams just don’t belong in a CCG or a bowl game.

  15. gogatorsjohn says: Feb 16, 2013 6:59 PM

    FSU playing a lowly G-tech team and also coming off a loss to the Gators didn’t help fans get excited going into ACC title game. Go Gators!

  16. noring4youstill says: Feb 16, 2013 9:31 PM

    Miami and FSU just move to the SEC.

  17. chachooga says: Feb 16, 2013 9:31 PM

    @jagtiger

    did you watch the bowl season? medicore would not be an appropriate description, unless of course you are biased…nah wouldn’t thing that.

    @thefiesty1

    UM and UNC both would have been there if not for NCAA bowl bans. Strange year for the ACC. That said, this is not an ACC problem…this happened in the Pac10 a year or so ago. Not the details, but the talking heads kept mentioning it with every mention of GT being 6-6

  18. irish1958 says: Feb 16, 2013 10:42 PM

    Can the bowls and cc games
    16 game playoff, first three games at higher ranking team’s home stadium, final game at the SuperBowl stadium the week before NFL game.

  19. irishdodger says: Feb 17, 2013 12:01 AM

    @normtide

    An SEC fan shouldn’t suggest anything regarding another conference if we’re going with your Obama logic. Don’t worry, ND will be in a conference as a football team soon enough. In the meantime, you’re welcome for the Irish paving the way for the exclusive TV deals conferences enjoy today. One year, ND is greedy & arrogant for allowing NBC to pay them to televise all their home games. Later, all the conferences sign similar deals w/ no outrage.

  20. canehouse says: Feb 17, 2013 2:02 AM

    Who really gives two lines of street level blow? Seriously, how many little pigs at f$u have blown 500k?

  21. dirtydrew says: Feb 17, 2013 12:36 PM

    Time to end these made for tv events. Or give the tickets to the students for free since the games are played on the road for both teams. If it was at FSU, I bet both teams would have made money.

  22. gatiger says: Feb 17, 2013 12:40 PM

    Try and get a ticket to the SEC Championship, it will cost you a small fortune if you can find one.

    The problem is not with the Championship format. The problem is with the product on display!

  23. AT says: Feb 17, 2013 1:38 PM

    there’s a reason the SEC does their game in ATL, convenience and ease of travel.

  24. 1990tiger says: Feb 18, 2013 1:26 AM

    “Especially when over 90 percent of that loss was due to unsold tickets that shouldn’t….”

    Is this one of those “you provide the ending” games? ;-)

  25. jonkybon says: Feb 18, 2013 8:35 AM

    gatiger says:
    Feb 17, 2013 12:40 PM
    Try and get a ticket to the SEC Championship, it will cost you a small fortune if you can find one.

    The problem is not with the Championship format. The problem is with the product on display!
    _______________________________

    You could get two seats between the 40′s an hour before game time at face value for the SEC Championship Game. That despite the fact it was in Atlanta between UGA and Alabama.

    If Vegas didn’t pre determine the winners of the rivalry weekend, Championship Games and Bowl Games, all might sell better. Despite Vegas’ heavy hand, fans from some schools show up better than others.

  26. niubears says: Feb 18, 2013 10:32 AM

    The only conference that should be playing their Championship game on a neutral site is the SEC.
    Pac-12 does it the right way. Time for everyone to move the conference championships games to home sites.
    Fans don’t want to travel for both a championship game and a bowl game.

  27. lakesidegator says: Feb 18, 2013 10:51 AM

    FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY….

    bringing new meanings to the term ‘LOOSER’.

  28. nawlinsmitty says: Feb 18, 2013 11:37 PM

    lakeside gator……the word is LOSER dummy!

  29. cometkazie says: Feb 19, 2013 11:37 AM

    Lose, loose; affect, effect; life is complicated enough.

  30. lakesidegator says: Feb 19, 2013 12:57 PM

    @nawlinsmitty & thumbsdown — It were ententienul, $hithead$!

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