Oklahoma dismantled UConn 48-20 in this year’s Fiesta Bowl, but OU’s financial gains didn’t exactly match the Sooners’ on-field performance.
In fact, the Sooners netted just over $9,300 for the game, NCAA financial records show. The university, according to the Hartford Courant, failed to sell roughly 12,000 tickets. In all, the Big 12 absorbed nearly $2 million in unsold tickets, while Oklahoma took care of roughly $337,000.
UConn lost $1,663,560 from the game. The Big East does not provide any help with absorbing cost for unsold tickets.
Part of the argument in favor of the BCS — and the bowl system in general — is the conference payout profit model, even though some conferences have uneven benefit distribution. It’s interesting to see, however, that even a program such as Oklahoma can have a hard time netting a profit for such a high-profile game.
Of course, this could be for a myriad of reasons: non-attractive opponent (sorry, UConn), economic belt-tightening, high ticket prices, etc.