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May 17, 2011


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UCF was only given 10k tickets to the Liberty Bowl and sold 5k. I don't know where you get those numbers from. Oh yeah...3rd parties???


I can guarantee you that the Liberty Bowl did not allot UCF 21k tickets. They didn't even give Georgia that many. Both schools got 10k. You really need to check your research.


Validity of this website just went through the crapper. Not sure how UCF absorbed 16K of a 10K allotment. I see noboby put their name next to this BS... for good reasons.

The Wiz

All I can go by is the expense report UCF filed with the NCAA. If you have documentation that suggests otherwise, please send it to me.

UCF sold 2,228 tickets at $50 and 1,495 at $20. That totaled 3,723 tickets at a cost of $141,300.

C-USA purchased 20,000 tickets at $50. That totaled $1,000,000.

UCF's 3,723 tickets sold and $141,300 revenue were then subtracted. That left 16,277 tickets at an absorbed price of $858,700.

The NCAA requests the number of unsold tickets absorbed by the team and conference be reflected on the report. It's a universal reporting template.

I'll be posting the UCF report in the next couple of days.


Dee Hart and Hasean Clinton-Dix were from Dr. Phillips not Brent Calloway. No research at all just threw some numbers and names together.


You prove that some bloggers are real journalists. Thank you for your rigorous research. You're pissing off people and that's good! The truth hurts. "Larry" and the chagrined UCF zealots are likely just the beginning.

I love going to and watching bowl games like everyone else. But the cost is extremely high and you're the first journalist with the cajones to challenge "The Greatest College Football Tradition."

The Wiz

Thanks Larry. I updated to reflect that Dee Hart and Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix were the players from renovated Dr. Phillips High who signed with Alabama.

The Wiz

Thanks for the kind words, Steve. Much appreciated.

Talmadge East

While there are definite financial pitfalls to the overall bowl agreement there is something that all the people who look at these numbers fail to mention: a lot of the universities choose not to sell all their tickets. Take Auburn for instance, which if you use the formula above, incurred a loss from their allotment of tickets, but certainly could have sold them. When calculating these numbers they need to be done on a school-by-school basis as it is not really fair to say across the board team "y" didn't sell all their tickets so they lost "x" amount of money. If a school intentionally didn't sell all their tickets because they wanted to give some away then it shouldn't count against the bowls. On the other hand some teams, like UCONN, just can't sell the tickets, but there needs to be a distinction.


"CUSA purchased 20,000 tickets" doesn't mean UCF purchased them. This is Memphis' stadium. I'm sure the conference and season ticket holders pulled many tickets for its execs/contributors/etc.

UCF's mandatory ticket allotment was 10K. Same as Georgia. Look it up Mr Researcher. Way to put 1 and 2 together to make 4.

Plus did you take into account the evenly distributed money paid by CUSA to all of the schools from all of the bowls including a cut from the BCS bowls? The $500K+ you mention is just the general travel expense coverages the specific bowl team gets over and above the distributed money. Each CUSA team's distributed cut was right around $1 million.

The Wiz

You are correct, Talmadge East. That's why the tickets are called "absorbed" instead of unsold. I made note of that in the fourth paragraph.

That said, nearly all the bowls charge bands for tickets, even though the band is performing and saving the bowl from having to hire an act to entertain at halftime. A large percentage of absorbed tickets are for band members.

The Wiz

RUKiddingMe: My numbers are from the documentation Central Florida filed with NCAA. If you have something that suggests UCF filed incorrect data, please send it my way.

The NCAA has a universal reporting template on "absorbed" tickets. I've applied this standard across the board and did not make an exception for UCF. Every school is treated the same, including UCF.

C-USA not only shares revenue, but expenses. The tickets were an expense. All the money comes out of the same pot.


I see what you are saying, but it still seems a little misleading to show a school responsible for "absorbing" tickets when they may be compensated by other means. Were there additional funds reported elsewhere that counted towards these absorbtions? You have me curious to see this "report".

The Wiz

The $858,700 is only for absorbed tickets.

Iowa had a similar issue with the NCAA's universal reporting template. Oklahoma left tickets absorbed by the Big 12 off its total expenses, but that was corrected in order to make comparisons equal.

All of the documents will be posted to the site in the coming days.

As the story states, the bowls overall make money, but only because of the five BCS games, which this year paid out a reported $174.07 million. The other games are break-even at best. And, of course, the BCS conferences get the biggest slice (83.4 percent) of the $174.07 million.


Great post Jay. Exposing the truth about the finances in College Football Bowls is a key part in finally getting a true playoff system. Keep up the great work!


Excellent work Jay! I see why the site was silent for a while, you were working on this great project.

These posts will make up for that.


Great article. Thanks for breaking down the numbers. You won't see this kind of reporting on ESPN.COM. By the way, which bowls are owned by ESPN?

The Wiz

Thanks Travtemp!

ESPN owns and operates seven bowl games: New Mexico, St. Petersburg, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Texas, Armed Forces and BBVA Compass.

More is available at this link: http://bit.ly/aYG0YA


So, it looks like the hole in your calculations is that each conference handles ticket absorbtion differently. I think you need to contact CUSA to find out how it handled the Liberty Bowl absorbtion as UCF's "Actual" budget shows $107,597 surplus. As per the reporting sheet, it appears UCF itself wasn't responsible for ANY tickets, yet had to be reported in this fasion as to account the conference (Note the 20,000 "conference" absorbtion).

Also, from what I understand, the way it is worked out with the conference, only half on the ticket sales are accredited to the university. 7,446 tickets were sold by UCF. But since the conference technically "absorbs" the 20K tickets (releasing the university of any liability), the agreement splits the ticket sales between university and conference and is reported in this fashion.

To be accurate, you should find out how ticket sales were handled by the conference. How many were payed for by the conference? How many were given free? How much revenue from walk-up sales are given to each conference? TV advertising dollars to each conference? Etc, etc. As far as UCF is concerned, the final Liberty Bowl budget reports they came out $107K ahead.

Will Smithrock

This study should be conducted by an impartial party, Jay. You are well known to be outspoken against the bowls and highly in favor of a playoff.

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