PP: Gophers to pay $2 million for nonconference football games in 2020. Are they worth it?

BleedGopher

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per Greder:

The Gophers football program is optimistic — amid the coronavirus pandemic — that it will be able to play Florida Atlantic at TCF Bank Stadium on Sept. 3. If that pans out, it will be an expensive season opener.

The University of Minnesota will pay the smaller Conference USA opponent $1.2 million to play that game. The Gophers also will pay Tennessee Tech $450,000 to visit Minneapolis on Sept. 12, and Brigham Young will receive $300,000 to travel for their road game in Minneapolis on Sept. 26, according to contracts the Pioneer Press received via data records requests this week.

The $1.95 million total cost for these three nonconference games comes as the Gophers are estimating a more than $10 million budget shortfall due to COVID-19 shutting down collegiate sports in March. The Gophers said it had a $123 million overall athletic budget for fiscal year 2020, which ends Tuesday.

When outlining their grim financial picture — which gets much worse without football games being played this fall — Gophers Athletics Director Mark Coyle said in May: “There is no doubt that everything is on the table.”

That includes potentially cutting sports program, but does not appear right now to include backing out of nonconference football games.

“We have run different models and our goal is to play our games as scheduled,” a Minnesota spokesman said in a statement to the Pioneer Press. “This remains fluid and things can change.”


Go Gophers!!
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Like it or not it is also what allows those other schools to operate ... for some of those schools payments from P5s are a huge chunk of their budget.
 

Some guy

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Unless there are rule changes to bowl eligibility and how many games in an FBS season, you talk of eliminating games for non medical reasons is stupid
 

Lakeville Goldy

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I hate articles like this because it presents the situation as if:
1. It's unusual for B1G schools to be paying NC opponents this kind of money (it isn't).
2. They have better options (they really don't).

If you have a problem with how they are doing it, present a better solution. Not having NC games isn't a realistic option.

The problem is they have to pay more for schools that aren't part of a home and home. And they need two of those schools every year to guarantee 3 NC games, where there is one home and home between two years and two more home games every year. Otherwise, they could have fewer home games, have lower ticket income and lower net income. Maybe that's a better option?

I'm actually surprised TT is that low. I would think between roughly 50 hotel rooms, chartered plane, ground transport and meals they are not making much money off that trip.
 
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PMWinSTP

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I hate articles like this because it presents the situation as if:
1. It's unusual for B1G schools to be paying NC opponents this kind of money (it isn't).
2. They have better options (they really don't).

The problem is they have to pay more for schools that aren't part of a home and home. And they need two of those schools every year to guarantee 3 NC games, where there is one home and home between two years and two more home games every year. Otherwise, they could have fewer home games, have less tickets and lower net income. Maybe that's a better option?
Play all or at least 1-2 P5 nonconference opponents every year?
 

forever a gopher

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This is a rather lazy article, hovering around click-bait territory. Seeing that it was in the Winona newspaper, I'll cut them some slack, as if the Strib/PP can't get quality writers, how on earth can Winona? While all the information is accurate as presented, it's the way it's presented that is misleading. From this information they requested, three questions should arise that a quality writer would go on to investigate instead of lazily presenting this information.

1. With it being a home game, the Gophers/B10 control the TV rights. So do they make more on TV rights alone (assuming no ticket revenue this year) for this game to justify the price of paying the opponent? If the home team gets the TV revenue, and the opposing team needs to travel (and thus incur travel costs), why wouldn't they get paid? Otherwise, they'd be losing money to play the game as they'd have to spend money to get here.
2. How much do other B10 teams pay for their non-con schedules? Is this an outlier, or is this within the ballpark of what all their peers are paying? Context is important when presenting random facts.
3. Let's say they're losing money on the game by paying out these sums of money, and they were to cancel the game on those reasons alone. That means less (potential) wins, and thus a lesser bowl game, or no bowl at all. How much money do they stand to lose by missing a bowl or getting a lesser bowl? This one is slightly complicated, as the conference splits the bowl revenue between the teams, so it's not direct. However, if less B10 teams make bowls, that means less money for all. Also, if you're going to no bowl or a lesser bowl, that can have an affect on fan interest (and thus $) in the current or future seasons.
 

Ope3

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I hate articles like this because it presents the situation as if:
1. It's unusual for B1G schools to be paying NC opponents this kind of money (it isn't).
2. They have better options (they really don't).

If you have a problem with how they are doing it, present a better solution. Not having NC games isn't a realistic option.

The problem is they have to pay more for schools that aren't part of a home and home. And they need two of those schools every year to guarantee 3 NC games, where there is one home and home between two years and two more home games every year. Otherwise, they could have fewer home games, have lower ticket income and lower net income. Maybe that's a better option?

I'm actually surprised TT is that low. I would think between roughly 50 hotel rooms, chartered plane, ground transport and meals they are not making much money off that trip.
Regarding your 1st point, I did not read it at all "It's unusual for B1G schools to be paying NC opponents this kind of money". Perhaps it was not in the past but going forward, could be on the table for most/all Big 10 teams to change their ways.

Regarding your 2nd point on better options, maybe there are. Iowa St has been reluctant to schedule the Gophers because they also play Iowa and double up on Big 10 foes. Maybe now with a cost effective benefit (load a couple of buses instead of a charter plane) they will reconsider, on either a short or long term basis.

In terms of expenses, probably would not move the needle much by playing the Dakota schools exclusively as FCS teams, but maybe. Also draw more fan support (whenever that is allowed at TCF Stadium).
 

Livingat45north

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We could have scheduled St. Thomas for a lot less than that though...
 

highwayman

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No. Just play 4 Conference home games and then hope for the best.

Seriously, the market is the market. If the market changes, so will the payouts. A very lazy, lazy article.
 

Plato

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If your coach gets a bonus for games won or bowls attended it is worth it to him.
Particularly since he is not paying for the games.
 

MplsGopher

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12 game schedule. You could do 6 home/home each year, for free, as opposed to our usual 7 home games.

We're paying $2M per year for two reasons:
- an extra home game for our fans to attend
- an extra win for the team
 

hungan1

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Any kind of football revenue from home games/TV is good even though they have to spend money already agreed to.

We need Gopher Football back! Fans are salivating.
 

MplsGopher

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Any kind of football revenue from home games/TV is good even though they have to spend money already agreed to.

We need Gopher Football back! Fans are salivating.
Like you were perhaps getting at ... these "extra" home games, usually against MAC or other equivalent tomato can type teams, are inventory for BTN and likely never picked up by ESPN/FSN. So in a sense, you can argue the money is just coming right back.
 
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