SBD/December 4, 2012/Colleges

MAC Commissioner Says Conference May Subsidize Northern Illinois' Orange Bowl Trip

NIU, playing in its first BCS bowl, has about 165,000 alumni in Chicago
MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher yesterday said that he will "present to the presidents of the conference a proposal to subsidize" Northern Illinois Univ.'s trip to Miami for the Discover Orange Bowl, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. Steinbrecher said, "Northern Illinois will not be left on the hook like other programs have been. We've always discussed what we would do when we came to this point and it was clear that the opinion was we'd subsidize the school going so that this could be a conference celebration." Steinbrecher added that the five conferences "that do not automatically qualify for the BCS will divide about $24 million -- $12 million to be split equally, and of the other $12 million, the MAC will get about two-thirds." Rovell noted a "simple majority of the presidents of the 13 MAC schools must agree for Steinbrecher's plan to be put in place." Steinbrecher said that it will "not be an issue." It also is "possible that the school might have some trouble selling the 17,500 tickets it is required to buy from the Orange Bowl." In its six home games "the school played this season, the team averaged 15,670 per game" (ESPN.com, 12/3).

MY KIND OF TOWN: NIU Alumni Association Exec Dir & CEO Joseph Matty said that with "165,000 alumni in the Chicago area and another 60,000 living elsewhere in the country, NIU has demonstrated impressive school spirit at five smaller bowl games since 2005, and officials are expecting even bigger crowds Jan. 1." In Chicago, Healy & McCarthy note the "alumni group expects to sell 1,000 tickets to a pregame reception in Miami and will dispatch staff to eight other cities across the U.S. for additional game 'watch parties'" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/4).

SKY HIGH: In Miami, Linda Robertson notes BCS National Championship ticket prices "will fluctuate until kickoff, but Monday on Ticketmaster, not many tickets were available, and they were going for $2,079 to $3,026 apiece as 'package deals' in Section 415" of Sun Life Stadium. TiqIQ Senior Dir of Data & Communications Chris Matcovich said that on the secondary market, the "cheapest tickets were selling for $1,450, with the average price at $2,729." Matcovich said, "Right now, the 'get-in' price -- which is the least expensive price -- is higher than two of the last three Super Bowls. There is a good quantity available. I’d wait to see what happens after Alabama gets their allotment. You can expect prices to drop. The question is, how much?" Both Alabama and Notre Dame are "allotted 17,000 tickets." Notre Dame yesterday said that the 2,500 tickets the school is "selling to students were priced at $300 until an anonymous alumnus donated $375,000 to reduce students' cost to $150." About 4,000 students "have applied for tickets." Notre Dame Senior Assistant AD/Guest Relations & Event Marketing Josh Berlo said that "about 100,000 Notre Dame alumni, season-ticket holders and fans have requested tickets" (MIAMI HERALD, 12/4).
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