Missouri Prepares For Higher Travel Costs Associated With SEC Membership
Moving to the SEC “and being placed in the East Division will alter the plan and the travel budget considerably” for the Univ. of Missouri, according to Stu Durando of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. The athletic department “expects to see a minimum $750,000 increase for travel the first year in the league, boosting what was already a $4 to $4.5 million annual expense.” MU Senior Associate AD/Operations Tim Hickman said, "We're still evaluating and the feeling is that it's a little higher. I think it will be at least that. It's a moving target." Trips to places like Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State “will be replaced by journeys to Florida, South Carolina and Georgia, among others, forcing an increase in air travel for many sports.” MU will “maintain its practice of having the football, men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams travel via charter planes.” But decisions on how other teams travel “will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis with commercial air flight the standard option when drives are too long.” MU AD Mike Alden said that it will “take two years to get a good handle on what works best as teams become accustomed to traveling to unfamiliar cities.” MU will be “aided somewhat by Delta's expansion of flights out of the Columbia airport.” Hickman said, "I think (Delta's expansion) was heavily influenced by the SEC and the timing particularly coming with the Georgia game” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 8/20).