SBD/May 21, 2014/Colleges

Big Ten Schools Paying Large Guarantees For Home Football Games, Led By Ohio State

Ohio State led the nation in money paid to opponents ($8M)
While Big Ten schools "make millions from football games in their campus stadiums, they also are paying large guarantees for opponents to show up and play," according to Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com. Big Ten teams paid nearly $42M "to visiting teams in all sports" during the '12-13 season. That figure "includes Rutgers and Maryland, but not Northwestern, a private institution that doesn't report figures." The Big Ten paid "more to opponents than any other conference," which is "not a surprise considering many Big Ten teams make more than" $3M per football home game. In '12-13, Ohio State "led the nation in money paid to opponents" ($8M), followed by Minnesota ($4.8M) and Wisconsin ($4M). OSU has "spent more on visiting teams in each of the past six years," averaging $7.4M per year. OSU VP& AD Gene Smith said, "We’ll net north of about $7 million off of each (home football) game. That's why we can afford to pay that guarantee." But Rittenberg noted the "problem going forward is inventory." Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez said, "You're trying to schedule all (FBS) schools. The inventory becomes questionable. People don't want to go home-and-home. You try to stay at seven games at home, it's very difficult to do that in the year that you have four Big Ten games at home. So there are some issues." Michigan State AD Mark Hollis: "As the supply shrinks, those that are in the window of who you want to play have the ability to ask for more." Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, while "reiterating the need to avoid scheduling FCS opponents," said that he will "assist member schools with the scheduling dilemma" (ESPN.com, 5/20).

AVERAGE MONEY SPENT ON VISITING TEAMS FROM '07-13
SCHOOL
TOTAL
SPENT
AVG.
SPENT
SCHOOL
TOTAL
SPENT
AVG.
SPENT
Ohio State
$44.4M
$7.4M
Michigan
$13.1M
$2.2M
Indiana
$21.6M
$3.6M
Iowa
$13.0M
$2.2M
Michigan State
$19.4M
$3.2M
Rutgers
$12.9M
$2.1M
Wisconsin
$17.8M
$3M
Penn State
$12.4M
$2.1M
Nebraska
$16.2M
$2.7M
Maryland
$11.0M
$1.8M
Purdue
$14.0M
$2.3M
Illinois
$9.6M
$1.6M
Minnesota
$13.7M
$2.3M
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