IOWA CITY — Iowa battered South Carolina in the Outback Bowl and won the budget battle, too.
Iowa spent about $1.52 million during its week-long trip to the Tampa, Fla., Outback Bowl in late December and early January. That was about $130,000 under the $1.65 million budget provided by the Big Ten Conference.
“At the end of the day our fans showed up, we won the game, and we came in under budget,” Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said. “It was a success all the way around.”
Both Iowa and South Carolina were guaranteed at least 11,000 tickets for the Outback Bowl. Iowa’s athletics department sold more than 20,000 tickets in the Hawkeyes’ last Outback Bowl berth on Jan. 2, 2006 and asked for 15,000 tickets to sell to local fans. But Iowa failed to sell nearly 2,300 tickets, costing the department almost $150,000.
“The last time we went down there, we sold over 20,000, so we scaled back to 15,000,” Barta said. “I think what happened, anecdotally, we heard, that a lot of fans were just going to the bowl site and buying their tickets from there just to make sure they got some. At the end of day, I was focused on the bottom line. And the bottom line was we still came in under budget and that was where we wanted to be.”
Barta and department officials estimate 20,000 Iowa fans attended the game, or nearly 37 percent of the 55,117 in official attendance. Barta had expected fewer fans to attend in part because of the economic slowdown, which is why Iowa chose to sell 5,000 fewer than three years ago.
“You want to take care of your fans so you have to make a decision quickly, how many you’re going to purchase versus how many your fans are going to have to purchase from the bowl,” he said. “We’d prefer to have them all come from here, but we scaled back because we knew the economy would have some effect.”
Iowa earned a $3.3 million payout for participating in the Outback Bowl. That money then was given to the Big Ten, which gives each school participating in a bowl a stipend. The extra bowl revenue then is divided among the 11 Big Ten schools and the league office.
Barta said the school donated extra tickets to local charities in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area.
“We’ve done everything from contact some kids’ groups, some local groups, some charity groups and tried to move them out that way,” he said.
Iowa spent more than $1.1 million on team and staff travel, including transportation, meals, lodging and tickets. Marching band expenses totaled $328,340 while expenses for university leaders cost more than $50,000.
Here’s a look at the school’s financial summary:
THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
|DEPARTMENT OF ATHLETICS|
|Participant’s Share (per Big Ten Conference policy)||$1,650,000|
|Athletics Department (Team and Staff)|
|Meals, Lodging & Per Diem||$425,625|
|Awards (117 players @ $350)||$40,950|
|Equipment & Supplies||$20,130|
|Tickets (application costs)||$17,365|
|Tickets-Unsold (6 @ $140 + 2,291 @ $65)||$149,755|
|Tickets-Comp (1,277 @ $65)||$83,005|
|Tickets-Comp (69 @ $140)||$9,660|
|Advance Planning Party||$4,203|
|Total Athletics Department Expenses||$1,140,702|
|Meals, Lodging & Per Diem||$66,725|
|Tickets-Comp (346 @ $65)||$22,490|
|Total Marching Band Expenses||$328,340|
|Institution (UI Leadership, PCA,Other)|
|Meals, Lodging & Per Diem||$30,323|
|Tickets-Comp (29 @ $140)||$4,060|
|Total Institution Leadership||$50,758|