The price for Alabama’s most recent trip to the BCS championship game was relatively steep financially, but we’re going to go ahead and guess it was more than worth it.
According to Jon Solomon of al.com, the Tide spent $3.4 million during its seven-day trip to Miami for the title game against Notre Dame. As the Irish are a private institution, it’s doubtful any reliable figures for the South Bend school’s trip will surface.
The website reports that it was the Tide’s “priciest BCS championship yet,” even as the Tide spent $4.3 million for the 2010 game in Pasadena, Calif., and $3.9 million for last year’s game in New Orleans. So why was this year’s trip labeled the priciest? The NCAA’s accounting practices changed when it comes to bonuses for coaches and other staff members, as Solomon explains:
However, those bowl reports included bonuses, and the NCAA instructed schools this year not to count bonuses.
Alabama paid out $1.46 million in football bonuses from the 2012 season.If those bonuses had been counted on the report as in years past, the Crimson Tide’s expenses would have totaled $4.9 million.
The most expensive portion of the trip was seven days of lodging and meals at $896,749, which was nearly $250,00 more than last year’s game and nearly $200,000 more than the Pasadena trip. The athletic department also ate over $750,000 for 2,003 tickets allotted to the school that went unsold.
Solomon adds that “[t]here were 457 band members who totaled $284,003 in transportation, meals and lodging costs.”
It’s not like the Tide will lose money on the trip, however. The school will receive a little over $3.9 million from the BCS — $1.925 million for its title-game appearance, $2.04 million from its share of BCS revenue given to the SEC. That number would put the department in the black, but doesn’t include bowl revenue from other conferences or a one-way travel stipend from the NCAA ($200 a mile, which should be in the neighborhood of $170,000 back into the school’s pockets).