Not only did the University of Connecticut lose the New Year’s Day Fiesta Bowl, but the cost of appearing in the game burned a $1.8 million hole in the pocket of the school’s athletic department, the Daily Campus reported Wednesday.
According to financial records from the Fiesta Bowl, UConn incurred $4.3 million in expenses, while receiving a payout from the Big East of $2.5 million for making it to the prestigious Bowl Championship Series (BCS) game against Oklahoma.
The largest burden for the school was ticket costs, as the athletic department was forced to absorb a nearly $3 million charge for unused tickets. The Fiesta Bowl allotted UConn 17,500 tickets, but the athletic department only sold 2,771 of them and had to pay for the rest.
In addition, the cost of traveling to Glendale, Ariz.., for the game totaled $685,195, while UConn also spent a total of $460,941 on meals and lodging for the team, administrators, cheerleaders and the band.
The school has not commented on the financial loss, but in a survey submitted to the NCAA after the game made mention of its difficulty selling tickets.
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