Gators took financial bath in Sugar Bowl loss

0 Comments

Florida’s pride wasn’t the only thing to take a hit this past postseason; the athletic department’s financial bottom line did as well.

According to the Gainesville Sun, it was revealed during a university system budget meeting Wednesday that UF lost in the neighborhood of $840,000 on its trip to the Sugar Bowl.  The Gators lost 33-23 to former UF defensive coordinator Charlie Strong‘s Louisville Cardinals in a game that was 30-10 entering the fourth quarter.

As is ofttimes the case, it was the allotment of tickets that played a significant role the financial deficit.  According to an early-January report by the Orlando Sentinel, UF sold less than 7,000 of the 17,500 tickets allotted to them; the Sun wrote that the loss was “mostly due to unsold tickets.”

The Gators’ plight, mirrored by several other schools in the SEC, led to the ticket allotment issue to be addressed during the conference’s recently-completed spring meetings.  From the paper:

UF was one of several SEC schools that took a loss on bowl ticket sales this past year, something that the league addressed at its annual spring meetings in Destin last month. Commissioner Mike Slive said the SEC will be pushing for a lower minimum number of tickets that bowls can require league schools to purchase in the future.

The good news for Florida and others in similar situations?  The chief operating officer of the College Football Playoff, Michael Kelly, said today that  “the number of required tickets for schools in host bowls will drop from 17,500 to 12,500.”

Whether conferences such as the SEC will seek a deeper reduction in the ducat requirement remains to be seen.