The Wiz of Odds is conducting a comprehensive study of bowl game expense reports. All of the data collected — expense reports for 56 teams and bowl surveys for 40 teams — are being posted on the site. Here is the latest installment. For an overview of the project, click here.
The Meineke Car Care Bowl, which is played in Charlotte, opened for business in 2002. The game, which is owned and operated by Raycom Sports, has undergone several name changes. Continental Tire sponsored the event for three years before Meineke took over from 2005-10. Meineke dropped its sponsorship early in 2011 and Belk, a department store chain based in Charlotte, has become the new title sponsor.
2010 participants: Clemson and South Florida.
Clemson expenses: The school reported absorbing 3,023 tickets at a cost of $328,095. Total expenses were listed at $941,294. Download Clemson Expenses
Survey: Although it was a short 114-mile trip to Charlotte, Clemson sold only 7,118 tickets. Athletic director Terry Don Phillips nearly apologized to the bowl for Tiger fans' tepid interest in the game.
"The [bowl] staff did everything possible to assist us in the sale of tickets," he wrote. "We wish we could have sold more."
Clemson's biggest expense — meals and lodging — gobbled up 44.2 percent of expenses. Phillips gave a "neutral" response when asked about the cost of hotel rooms. Download Clemson Survey
South Florida expenses: A whopping 51.5 percent of the school's reported expenses of $1.4 million came from absorbed tickets. The team reportedly absorbed 9,548 tickets at a cost of $728,745. The school sold only 2,328. Under other expenses, the Bulls listed credit card fees of $4,049. Download South Florida Expenses
Survey: Absorbed ticket costs were apparently on athletic director Doug Woolard's mind when he filled out the survey. Woolard gave a "neutral" rating when asked about the ticket requirement and cost of tickets.
He was critical of the practice field location.
"The proximity of the practice field to the hotel was inconvienient [sic]. In future bowls, we would hope that the practice venue would be closer to the team hotel," he wrote.
Woolard also gave "neutral" responses when asked about the cost of hotel rooms and whether the accommodations were adequate for VIPs, the team, fans and alumni.
"There was a shortage of complimentary tickets for some of the events (e.g. Welcome Reception), while others we had hoped would be open to the rest of the travel party (e.g. Charlotte Motor Speedway).
"VIP Room (hospitality) needs to be more closely monitored. Donors and miscellaneous guests at the hotel often came in to the room, disturbing players and coaches." Download South Florida Survey