The final tab for bowl games in the Kirby Smart era at Georgia saw a steep increase — not that Bulldogs fans are complaining all that much.
Thanks to an open records request from the Athens Banner-Hearld, we now know that UGA spent a whopping $6,539,844.79 for its trips to the College Football Playoff as part of their win in the Rose Bowl and overtime loss in the national championship game. It was a, uh… stark increase from the $1.835 million spent the season prior when the team went to the Liberty Bowl.
The school wasn’t on the hook for that full amount in 2017 thanks to some $4.88 million they received from the SEC as part of the league payout. Still, bonuses from the postseason run pushed the tab up another $2.11 million according to the Banner-Hearld and were not included in the overall figure reported by the Georgia Athletic Association.
“We treated this just like any other bowl,” athletic director Greg McGarity said. “We did not change the rules or our policy and procedures. … We were consistent as we were on any other road trip on who goes, who’s invited, what they receive.”
Title game opponent Alabama received a slightly smaller payout from the conference office but reported a bigger set of expenses at just over $7.5 million for the two games. The much longer trip from Athens to Pasadena was still a costly one for Georgia though, with nearly $2 million in travel expenses alone and had “a cost of $3,698.71 per person in the travel party” for the Rose Bowl. The school did save some money by going to Atlanta for the title game yet still spent $2.4 million to do so.
Seven-figure expense reports are not anything new for teams when it comes to the College Football Playoff and you can certainly bet that fans in red and black would be more than happy to pony up the same amount for another run in 2018.