It's a good thing that UConn and booster Robert Burton were able to hug things out, because the last thing the school needs right now is to have to refund a $3 million donation. You see, according to a story in the school's newspaper, The Daily Campus, the Huskies trip to the Fiesta Bowl was pretty costly. Not only did it cost them a head coach, as Randy Edsall used the rise in profile to capture his "dream job" at Maryland, but it turns out that the trip to Arizona cost the school $1.8 million.
And that's including the money the school got from the BCS.
The UConn athletic department lost nearly $1.8 million at the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, according to bowl documents obtained by The Daily Campus.
The university incurred total expenses of $4,280,998 at the Fiesta Bowl while only receiving a payout of $2,523,200 from the Big East.
By far the largest expense the university incurred came from absorbed ticket sales. The university sold only 2,771 out of an allotment of 17,500 tickets, resulting in the university absorbing 14,729 tickets worth $2,924,385.
The official figure of 2,771 tickets sold is substantially lower than the previously reported amount of 4,600 tickets sold.The school has not commented on the amount it spent for the game, though the paper did get its hands on a survey the Fiesta Bowl gave to the school. UConn responded to questions about ticket prices and ticket commitments with a "neutral" to both. Though UConn did leave this in the comments section.
"We recognize the total ticket commitment associated with this BCS bowl game, but selling 17,500 tickets is a challenge for a school from the east whose fans incur significant travel expenses."
Seeing as how the school was stuck with 14,729 tickets, that does seem to be quite the challenge.
Here's a breakdown on what the school spent for its trip to Glendale.
- Travel - $685,195
- Food and lodging - $460,941
- Entertainment, promotion, etc - $210,477
But the current bowl system works both for the students, and for the schools. Don't forget that, kids.