UI Under Budget for 2009 Outback Bowl
May 12, 2009
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Consistent with past practice and in spite of a challenging economic environment, the UI Athletics Department came in under the budget it was provided to fund its participation in the 2009 Outback Bowl.
Per Big Ten Conference policy, the UI was provided a budget of $1.65 million to spend on expenses related to participation in the New Year's Day event. The UI spent just more than $1.5 million, according to a report distributed Tuesday at the monthly meeting of the UI President's Committee on Athletics.
The UI Athletics Department spent $1,140,702 on expenses related to student-athletes, coaches and support staff. It spent $328,339 on expenses related to the UI Marching Band and another $50,758 on expenses related to institutional leadership.
"I'm very proud of our staff's ability to effectively manage the expense-side of our participation in the Outback Bowl in a way that allowed us to stay within our budget, provide all that was required to prepare our team for the game and give us the best chance for victory, and to give our student-athletes the high-quality experience they earned," said Gary Barta, the UI's director of athletics.
Iowa exceeded its commitment to the Outback Bowl by selling slightly more than 14,000 tickets to the event to fans of the Hawkeyes directly through the UI Athletics Ticket Office. Both participating teams agreed to assume financial responsibility for 11,000 game tickets when they accepted the invitation to play in the game.
The report indicated that the UI assumed the expense for slightly more than 3,600 tickets it provided to guests of each eligible student-athlete, coaches, and support staff, per NCAA and Big Ten policies, and tickets it did not sell. Barta said the UI had requested additional tickets based on its sales at the Hawkeyes' previous two games in Tampa.
"History indicated demand from our fans for this particular game and destination would be strong and it was. The consensus was that more than 20,000 fans of the Hawkeyes made the trip to Tampa. Unfortunately, many of those fans chose to purchase their game tickets either locally or through Ticketmaster, and those don't help us in terms of the UI getting credit for those sales," said Barta, who also noted that Iowa and the Outback Bowl fared well given the difficult economic environment.
"Ticket sales directly through our ticket office ranked in the top 15 among 64 schools that participated in the bowl games last winter and the top 10 of non-BCS games. We also did quite well compared to our Big Ten peers," Barta said.
Barta said the UI Athletics Department will add the positive balance from the bowl game budget to its operations budget for the current fiscal year.