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April 11, 2012

BCS title game cost UA nearly $2 million

TUSCALOOSA | Going to the Bowl Championship Series national title game cost the University of Alabama nearly $2 million, according to an accounting of UA bowl-related expenses obtained by Tidesports.com under an open-records request.

Alabama BCS Championship Game expenses:
Other (includes coaching bonuses): $1,593,101
Meals/lodging per diem: $846,703
Unsold tickets: $770,152
Transportation: $223,487
Awards: $207,553
Administrative: $186,584
Entertainment: $65,809
Equipment and supplies: $15,227
Promotion: $6,183
Total: $3,914,799
Alabama spent more than $3.9 million on the bowl game in New Orleans for the Jan. 9 BCS National Championship Game against LSU. That cost was offset by a $1.925 million payout by the bowl to each of the participating schools for expenses. UA also received $200 per mile, one-way, as a travel dispensation allocated by the SEC Executive Committee, adding about $58,000 to offset expenses.

The full BCS bowl payout for Alabama and LSU making the BCS title game was $28.4 million, which included the $1.925 million allotted to each school for expenses under SEC by-laws. The remaining $24.55 million is split 13 ways, with each of the 12 SEC schools and the league office receiving an equal share of $1,888,461.50 as part of the league's total shared revenue for the 2011-12 academic year.

The largest category in UA's accounting for bowl expenses was almost $1.6 million in a category listed as "other," which included more than $1 million in bonuses for coaches. Head coach Nick Saban collected $400,000 in bonuses for guiding the Crimson Tide to the national championship, and all assistant coaches were awarded 16 percent bonuses for UA making it to a BCS-tier bowl. All coaching bonuses are stipulated in the coaches' contracts.

One of the biggest expenses for UA was more than 2,000 tickets that the school bought but did not sell. Alabama received 17,092 tickets to the game - at a cost of more than $2.66 million - and sold 15,048.

UA absorbed 2,044 unsold tickets at a cost of $770,152. Many of those tickets were used by the athletic department, including requests by Director of Athletics Mal Moore and Saban and for complementary tickets used by staff. Also included in that total are additional student tickets bought by UA above the number allocated by the bowl, and tickets for the band.

Alabama's cost of transportation for the team, coaching and support staff, band and cheerleaders and official party (including athletics department employees, faculty and others) was $223,487. Most of that was the $196,486 for the team and support staff, which traveled on two chartered planes. Also figured into that amount is the cost for buses that took the team to and from practices and to the game.

Meals and lodging for the trip for the entire travel party ran to $846,703.

UA listed more than $186,000 in administrative costs.

Reach Tommy Deas at tommy@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0224.

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