Thursday, April 23, 2009

This Is Why We Turned Down Boise's Offer

I remember back in late November, when Ball State allegedly had an offer on the table to travel to Boise, ID and play Boise State in the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl. I also remember writing this. Of particular note...
Financially, the game would be a disaster...
That was my argument against playing in Boise, as it had nothing to do with who or where, but more about how. A program on the ropes against financial stability simply could not afford a Bowl game like Boise was offering. I was scoffed at, said there was no way it would be that bad, and that Ball State, to quote one person, "was making themselves look like bitches".

So imagine the small sense of smug "I was right" I felt when reading the Wiz's new column, profiling the epic financial disaster that fellow MAC member Northern Illinois is mired in after their Independence Bowl game against Louisiana Tech. A financial disaster that checks in at right around the $154,000 mark.

When I wrote openly about BSU and Boise, one of the things I noted was all the little trivial stipulations from a Bowl game. There's the cost of travel for those beyond the team, like the cheerleaders and pep band, equipment travel, etc. It isn't cheap and it certainly isn't cheap to a place like Boise, which has some of the most high cost requirements for bowl participation. Of course, most just simply dismissed those out of hand with a "It can't be THAT expensive!" Well, NIU seems to think otherwise. The biggest reason for the loss? A 10,000 ticket gap in allotment and sold. Which certainly would have happened had BSU headed west.

NIU will have enough funds to cover the costs, but mark my words, and it will be sooner rather than later, teams will begin to choose not to go to Bowl games at all if it comes with a $150k sticker, especially with the state of the economy and the general budgetary shitshows that are higher education budgets. I know there are non-dollar benefits like admissions, alumni support, etc. that come with a Bowl, but I think you'll find anyone that can make an argument that it's $150k worth.

Granted, BSU probably played their way out of the Boise game with the MAC Championship bed shatting, but it's still nice to sit back and say, "I told you so." So...

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