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Report: Tide spent $3.4 million on BCS title game trip

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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, 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).

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22 Responses to “Report: Tide spent $3.4 million on BCS title game trip”
  1. thraiderskin says: May 7, 2013 8:53 AM

    Well they won, again, so I would say it was money well spent.

  2. alligatorsnapper says: May 7, 2013 9:29 AM

    I am sure that the Crimson Tide football team took about all the Alabama Athletic Department, the President and her executives, various professors, some state representatives and senators and maybe some of the governor’s staff and others. This is a big deal. Everyone wants to go with the team. They can afford it and I am sure they think it was money well spent.

    “The athletic department also ate over $750,000 for 2,003 tickets allotted to the school that went unsold.” A continued concern is the large number of tickets that the schools are “stuck” with that they cannot sell. The physician with southernpatriots has often told LSU heads to give any remaining tickets away. Get the tickets into the hands of local media or something like that and have them give the tickets away to the 4th caller, 9th caller, the caller who identifies which Roman numeral the latest Mike the Tiger is, or something like that.

    To do this the media would announce these tickets are made available by the Athletic Department at Alabama or LSU, or Ohio State, or Stanford, etc. I know some of those tickets may be scalped or sold, but if that is legal, so be it. Get them in the hands of fans who will use them rather than throw them away.

    When tickets often are not available for the game, several thousand tickets being tossed in the trash to me seems like such a waste.

  3. sbmcintosh36 says: May 7, 2013 9:38 AM

    So the talk that super bowls and bcs bowl games don’t bring money into the cities economy is wrong?
    Yeah I’d say so with those meal and lodging numbers, Miami may want to use this in their fight.

  4. ttalarico says: May 7, 2013 9:41 AM

    Notre Dame fans would have taken them. I was at the game and some of my fellow ND travelers couldn’t get in.

    I guess NC games are old hat for Bama fans and that’s why they didn’t sell their allotment of tickets. That’s too bad for the seniors. They need the same recognition as last year’s players. As a ND fan that sat through the defeat, I believe it was Bama’s best team in recent years.

  5. monsterright says: May 7, 2013 11:00 AM


    It just says “unsold”. my guess is these were given away. I don’t think they had any issue having their allotment of tickets consumed.

  6. imaduffer says: May 7, 2013 12:12 PM

    Why would you need lodging when you campus is in New Orleans backyard?

  7. Deb says: May 7, 2013 1:06 PM

    @ttalarico …

    It’s definitely not “old hat” for Bama fans. I’d have been thrilled to go, but simply couldn’t afford it. My brother and family have gone to the last three championship games (lawyers make more than writers 😉 plus they save up all year and forgo Christmas presents in hopes Bama will make the title game).

    But last year they took additional members of the extended family to the game in New Orleans who weren’t able to attend this year because they couldn’t afford the airfare. It’s easy to pile a couple of extra people in the van. But when the game is in Miami or Pasadena, you have the added expense of airline tickets.

  8. arrogantnation says: May 7, 2013 1:19 PM


  9. dannygjay says: May 7, 2013 2:21 PM

    there were definitely not any tickets for sale. The unsold tickets were not for sale

  10. BrownsTown says: May 7, 2013 2:30 PM

    Double-check those invoices and receipts to make sure that no recruiting “per diems” were laundered through those expenses.

  11. dcbear90 says: May 7, 2013 4:51 PM

    457 band members?? Geez

  12. novoodoo4409 says: May 7, 2013 7:09 PM

    Man, for that money, every redneck in Bammy could have their own double-wide trailer and all expense paid weekend get-always with their first cousins…redneck heaven…

  13. normtide says: May 7, 2013 7:09 PM

    Tt- This is probably Bama’s most balanced team of the recent run, maybe ever. But, that defense wasn’t as good as the 2011 team, in my opinion.

    ND should not have their year judged by that last game. The Irish was a very solid, great team. When you go down 21-0 after the first three possessions, you have to throw your game plan out the window. A couple of early stops for your defense would have changed the game. Bama would have still won, but it would have been closer. I give Kelly credit, instead of his coaching history of offense, offense, and more offense, he is taking an SEC approach. Defense, control both lines of scrimmage, ball control. And, as Mack Brown can tell you, it takes more than just saying you want to do it. ND can be a force going forward.

  14. imaduffer says: May 7, 2013 8:41 PM


    Get with the program, we are talking about MONEY, not about college football.

    Have a good evening

  15. normtide says: May 7, 2013 8:45 PM

    Isn’t that the same thing?

    Was responding to ttalarico. Not too worried about the money situation in college football. Any figures released are not all encompassing. Plus, it doesn’t seem like Bama is running low.

  16. melkipershero says: May 7, 2013 8:50 PM


    Every BCS Bowl (and maybe the non-BCS bowls) give all players a “gift package” that can be worth up to a certain amount of money. If you are an Ohio State fan I would watch myself on the paying players deal because Urban Meyer is as dirty of a recruiter there is today.

  17. bryan101d says: May 7, 2013 10:22 PM

    Man, that’s a lot of Seer Antler Spray!!!

  18. bryan101d says: May 7, 2013 10:23 PM


  19. pricecube says: May 8, 2013 3:31 AM

    As much as I love college football the money that gets thrown around is starting to disgust me. I guess (as a fan) I am part of the problem though.

  20. alligatorsnapper says: May 8, 2013 10:28 AM


    We ALL are part of the problem, sad to say. I try to stay out of it, don’t usually go to the games with huge price tags, either tickets or the jacking up of hotel rooms from the normal of $125 – $150 a night to $600 – $800 per night. I am not a big travel trailer fan, but it I had to be at one of those games, I would borrow a trailer!

    All the towns where the BCS NC is played have special events taxes which are tacked on to the sales taxes, hotel taxes, taxi fares, etc. and those special event taxes can be anywhere between 10 to 25 percent!

    Local cities really benefit! New Orleans made nearly $1 billion in total revenue increase for the recent Super Bowl for businesses, workers, and government. For the Final Four March Madness game it was nearly $100 million, for Mardi Gras about $400 Million, and the BCS NC Championship game it was about $200 million. Bowls and athletic events do bring in a huge amount for a local city, its government, and its businesses and workers. The added money truly helps everyone there, from the dishwashers and parking lot sweepers to the executives.

    Hope the Superdome will get the second playoff game after Jerry’s World gets the first one.

  21. florida727 says: May 10, 2013 8:59 AM

    What’s also NOT included is their cut of all those tens if not hundreds of thousands of championship shirts and hats that their fans will purchase. It’s not like they’re purchasing shirts from the Hertz-Chick-Fil-A-Norton-Anti-Virus-Software-Sun-and-Fun-Play Bowl. It is, after all, the “National Championship Game”.

    #alligatorsnapper, excellent point about the “special event tax”. I’d forgotten about that one.

  22. alligatorsnapper says: May 10, 2013 9:42 AM


    About a year or so ago I received a funny but sobering email from the doc at southernpatriots in which he detailed the taxes that New Orleans kicked in for the previous Super Bowl held there and was anticipating even more this time due to the “never saw a tax he did not like” mayor they now have.

    The list was so long it included more than 100 taxes (or “fees” which are taxes anyway) levied by the Orleans Parish and New Orleans city governments. Some of those taxes even increased on groceries and weekly rental of apartments or homes/condos.

    One swamp tour company reported that they received a visit from a “man in black” with a somber severe manner reminding them there was a $10 fee on their tours until the second week following the Super Bowl.

    There was even an attempt to put an additional ad valorum tax on inventory, but somehow they did not get that one passed in time.

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